Spencer Reinhard, who was chronicled in the Hollywood movie American Animals, belongs to that fascinating line of artists that have no choice but to explore and communicate life through their paintings. When he was a wealthy young art student at Transylvania University, his obsession for Audubon's work led him to steal the book Birds of America from the university library, ultimately landing him in prison for 7 years, and forever changing the way he views the world.
With a completely new outlook, his creativity grew while incarcerated. He painted on bread ties, extracted ink from magazines, and even used candy as a medium. Today we see a mature body of abstract and figurative art that unashamedly tells a very human story: one of obsession, fear, anxiety, and pain — but also one of transformation, hope, and continued evolution.
His obsession with Audubon is still visible in the birds he paints. Some are contorted or ominous, while others are playful, peaceful, and carefully hopeful. In his precisely composed paintings, Spencer invites the viewer to decipher reality and truly see, to be better to nature, to one another, and ultimately, to oneself.
Spencer's artistic process for the American Animals Collection is very unique. It begins with acrylic, ink transfer, candy, and/or bread tie paintings on canvas or paper which he then photographs, collages, and paints on a digital tablet before being printed as unique works of art on archival paper. With this technique, Spencer bridges the divide between digital and physical art, makes sense of his own life, and creates a deep narrative in each of his paintings that has a profound impact on us.