Richard T. Slone is a English born American based multi disciplinary artist who’s popularity first rose to success during the early 2000’s when his work began being collected by celebrities and used for some of the worlds biggest entertainment events, especially boxing events, where Slone is widely regarded as the premier painter of the sport in the last quarter century.
Slone first got notoriety as a young boxer, living at Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s North Philadelphia boxing gym and become the boxing legends protege. It was during these years in the 90’s that Slone began spending time around famed sports artist LeRoy Neiman and many celebrities, and his art soon caught the eyes of the art industry and had begun being collected by some of the ‘elites’ and art connoisseurs. Collectores of his paintings included Hugh Hefner’s, Denzel Washington, Oscar de la Hoya, Nelson Mandela, Floyd Mayweather, Donald Trump, Norman Mailer, Eminem, Bruno Mars and many more. Slone credits Frazier with opening the doors that has led to where he is today.
Slone’s work is inspired by his own life experiences, growing up in a farming village in Cumbria, England, the son of a Blacksmith. At 16 years of age he left the United Kingdom, alone, to pursue his boxing dreams where he signed with Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the two had met in a London boxing gym in October 1989.
Slone’s mother recalls “As a baby Richard, the only way to get him to stop crying was to give him a crayon and something to mark up”. By the early 2000’s, his paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. He is self taught and once politely turned down a full scholarship at the historic Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the very prestigious and oldest art school in America, thinking it would interfere with his boxing training.
At 22, Slone became the official artist of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He had a celebrity collector base, his paintings soon became synonymous with some of the worlds most luxurious companies whom comissioned his artwork. His art has been featured in National Geographic‘s scholastic adisision Hampton-Brown where over 2 million books use Slone’s art to help teach the youth of America. In 2010 he was commissioned to create official art for the South Africa (Bafana Bafana)FIFA World Cup, hundreds of publications have now featured his artwork on their covers, he created the official artwork for the highest earning boxing event ever and created album covers for musicians, including country icon Travis Tritt’s 2022 album ‘Set In Stone’.
When asked how he’d like his art to be remembered, Slone replied “I don’t really have any control over that do I?, but if I did I’d just say paintings by a blue collar man”, a sentiment close to his early days in rural England and the hard streets of North Philadelphia, yet it’s the neon lights of Las Vegas, the cultural hotbeds of art like Los Angeles and New York that seek his work and the celebrities, high end art dealers that eagerly await Slones next painting. Muhammad Ali called Slone ‘The greatest artist of all time”.
In a 2020 interview with Playboy Magazine Slone said “If I could express things better in words then I wouldn’t have to paint” he also remarked about pulling inspiration from his many years working as a child helping in the Blacksmith forge and farming, his years boxing and how painting is similar too fighting, “It’s (painting) a battle until its won”.
It’s 3am in Las Vegas, Slone is ready to begin his new painting and smoking a cigar while listening to Waylon Jennings and from behind a cloud of smoke he says, “Everyone is fighting for something aren’t they? My paintings are meant to evoke courage and emotion in the viewer, to let them know to keep on fighting until they‘ve won”.
“Capturing energy is everything! As a painter, it is always the emotion within a painting that I remember most about any art I see. It is my inspiration.
Energy can be found in north simplistic and complex ways it’s an elusive quality that can transform art in just a matter of seconds. I strive to convey that sense of energy by capturing its fleeting magic.”
Slone was born in the same small English town as portrait painter George Romney (1734-1802). Romney was the most fashionable artist of his day, painting many leading society figures.