Riley Holloway (b. 1989 in Los Angeles, USA, lives and works in Dallas, USA) is a American painter who’s restrained figurative works provide healing spaces for contemplation of one’s own nostalgia and social heritage. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Holloway became interested in art through his mother, who taught him painting and introduced him to vintage fashion magazines.
Holloway attended The Art Institute of Dallas and the Florence Academy of Art, where he focused on traditional drawing and oil painting techniques.
An oil painter of superb technique, he is also a trained graphic designer with a sharp sensitivity for poetry and typography. Working from his personal photographs, Holloway narrates events from his family history that shape his identity. Many photographs were taken before Holloway’s birth or during his early childhood, but his intimate treatment infuses the paintings they inspire with the truthfulness and solidity of memory.
Holloway began to see the importance in life of taking emotional experiences and situations, often times difficult, repurposing them to process and speak with figurative painting. The images are an engaging mixture of rage and tranquility, motion and stillness, a distillation of the artist’s contradictions.

Departing from his well-known portraits, Holloway’s new body of work present in-depth compositions with multiple figures. Using a muted, warm palette, Holloway’s images capture the essence of quotidian tenderness in fleeting moments. The images are inextricably tied to instances in the past, but also adrift outside time and empathetic to the viewer’s sentiments. They are consciously crafted in the old master tradition, with light and shades for each object confidently rendered, and the anatomy of every black figure studiously considered.

However, Holloway does not attempt to be photorealistic; the scenes are cradled with an affectionate brushiness, stiffened at times by plain white and black paint – considered sacrilege by most traditional painters – that is applied for abstraction and obscurity. The enigmatic and lyrical painted text allows shadows of Art Nouveau posters and magazine typesetting to clash with Holloway’s ideal of classical realism, and contextualize these private human experiences in art and social history.