Renaissance influences, timeless themes run deep for Denton artist
Randall M. Good sits at a wood desk in a front sitting room in his home in Denton. The room, which functions as his artist studio, is filled with sketches and art supplies. Behind him sits a bookshelf full of art and art history books, most on the mannerist and Italian Renaissance traditions, which is his standard request when asked what he wants as a gift.
As a disciple of the mannerists, Good places emphasis on form and line. His work is reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance but has a unique contemporary flair.
“When I was at the University of North Texas, I had great professors and studied under Vincent Falsetta and Henry Whiddon,” he said. “They not only let me do this stuff — because this was not particularly popular and it’s still not — but they were incredibly nurturing to let me explore this avenue.”
Good received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from UNT in 1991. There, he focused on studio painting and art history. Immediately after graduation, Good became an art conservator at Art Restoration Inc. in Dallas, where he restored easel paintings. That experience was an education in itself that has carried over to his current work.
“It let me take time to build my portfolio, so when it was time to go into a gallery, I had plenty to show,” Good said. “When you’re restoring these old paintings, you learn a heck of a lot about the craft.”
Since 1999, Blue Moon Gallery in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been the premier location and home of his work.
With the help of Oxide Gallery and Blue Moon, Good finally has the chance to show his work in Denton.
Good’s solo show, “Deities, Demigods and Disegno,” will run from September to October at Oxide Gallery. The show will feature works from his main subject areas: mythology, religion, and his series of angels and the cosmos.
Blue Moon Gallery has been exclusively representing Good, mounting traveling exhibitions and handling the business end of things so Good can spend more time in the studio. The agreement has now opened up to where he can show his work in other galleries. In Good’s new agreement with Blue Moon, Denton can expect more opportunities to see his work in the future.
“A big part of my work is as an exhibiting artist, or a traveling artist almost, setting up in galleries and doing talks,” he said. “We’ve already started but we’re going to be setting up one or two traveling shows a year.
On a personal level, the upcoming Oxide Gallery show is a great opportunity for Good, who has never had a solo show in Denton.
Good met gallery owner Warren Hooper several years ago.
“Timing was never right — I got with Blue Moon and they were my exclusive representation,” Good said. “I met Warren a couple years ago; I liked him and I liked what he was doing in a number of ways. I want Denton to have more art galleries. We have this great art school but it’s always been tough for art galleries to make it, for whatever reasons, and he’s done a great job.”
Not only is this Good’s first show in Denton, it is also the first time Oxide Gallery has held a solo show.
“Warren is willing to take chances and do things and really put his gallery on the map, and he really helps Denton and Texas artists — and the timing couldn’t have been better,” Good said.
Crosses and art with religious imagery decorate Good’s studio. Religious imagery and iconography from the Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian traditions play important roles in his work.
“I don’t think I’ll ever turn away from it,” he said. “I’m working on three commissions right now that are specifically religious iconography.”
When Good was young, his family moved to Ireland.
“They have beautiful churches in Ireland right down the street from where we lived,” he said. “I remember as a kid seeing the stained-glass windows and low relief sculptures along the walls and trying to replicate those.”
Good will give three talks as part of his Oxide show, including one titled “Mannerism and the Madonna: Portraying Mary in Art” on Oct. 18. The artist will explain the unique and personal ways he has portrayed the Madonna over the years.
Origin of the cosmos
An easel displays an unfinished illustration for Good’s new favorite project, his angel series. It’s missing some gold leaf and a few details, but by the time of the September show, he should be ready to display work from the series. The series, with a working title of “The Era of Angels,” boasts an original mythology of the origin of the cosmos.
“What I’ve done is tried to come up with my own cosmogony on how the cosmos was formed and populated it with these angels that kind of function as the gods of Greek and Roman mythology, and doing the accompanying art,” Good said.
Good has written a standalone book to be read cover to cover, but it will also include his art based on episodes from his stories, symbolizing events and feelings and what the story represents.
Good will talk about his series and read a story during “How Conversations With My Dogs Led to the Creation of a New Cosmos” on Oct. 11.
“In 2007, these were stories that I told my dogs when I was walking because we have [had] the two most beautiful Weimaraners on the planet for 15 years,” Good said. “I would make up these stories and tell them while we were walking.”
ADAM SCHRADER can be reached at 940-566-6882.
RANDALL M. GOOD AT OXIDE GALLERY
What: Randall M. Good’s solo exhibit, “Deities, Demigods and Disegno”
When: Sept. 3 through Oct. 25
Where: Oxide Gallery, 115 Eagle Drive
Details: Admission is free. For more information, visit http://oxidegallery.com.
Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6
GALLERY TALKS WITH THE ARTIST:
“The ‘Secret’ Art Languge You Didn’t Know You Knew,” 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 13. Good will use examples to illustrate the way artists use visual cues and symbols that are already present in most people’s “art vocabulary.” From there, the discussion will turn to the topic of disegno, its meaning and how it influences his art.
“Mannerism and the Madonna: Portraying Mary in Art,” 1 p.m. Oct. 18. Good will talk about how he has portrayed the Madonna over the years, citing pieces included in the exhibit.
“How Conversations With My Dogs Led to the Creation of a New Cosmos,” 1 p.m. Oct. 11. Good will talk about his angel series and read “The Story of the Winter Angel.”