From Ratfink to Impressionism
Randall Lake is a veteran painter, and Utah stalwart, who draws from Impressionism, Fauvism, and Expressionism. He utilizes an angular figurative momentum redolent of Whistler or Manet. His subjects cover a wide range, from landscape to political statements in the vein of Soviet Realism. He is currently focusing on a series of "men in relationships." They could be sharing a bath, sleeping, or posed in unflinching solemnity. His imagery is not definitively aligned with a single message; it leaves room for consideration on the exact nature of the relationships. But one compulsion is his belief that "they have to see us as human." While he isn't out marching, he sees himself as an activist in his paintings, which is a beautiful sentiment.
His historic stone-built studio is a trove of color, ornaments, artwork and collectables gathered during a lifetime of traveling. Great shipping trunks rest on the floor—his grand means of bringing back items from his annual trips to France. The studio is reached by traversing a bucolic garden—over a Monet-like bridge, and through a field of blazing poppies.
A few steps up the street from the studio, is Lake's house, a modern, minimal interior, albeit hung with many paintings of his own, and others. Patchwork quilts are strewn about the beds lending a sense of comfort and safety. It was really a pleasure to talk with Randall, to see what his life as an artist is like, and to hear him discuss his history and motivations.
The Ratfink Museum is incredible. It was a thrill to go there. Ratfink has a...
"shaking, bloodshot depravity that has endowed this junkyard Mickey Mouse anti-hero with zeal and charisma. He was Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's creation. Roth achieved something lasting, abject, functional, revered, and sank it into the greasy fabric of America’s hotrod underbelly like a stain. His adherents have Ratfink tattooed into their psyches."
His museum is in Manti, Utah, and is something any visitor will be impressed with. Ratfink is a diamond in the gruff! Many thanks to Ilene "Trixie" Roth for the insightful, personal, emotive, private tour.