“Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not believed.”
– William Blake
What is Know No Truth?
Know No Truth is the art and designs based off Landon Richmond. With the artwork presented, the ultimate goal is not to embrace the darkness, but the light through confrontational courage, and a healthy dose of black humor. We can never forget the light is at the end of the tunnel, not the beginning. At times the tunnel is pitch black, a desire path may be difficult, ingrained perceptions make you believe you can never be the person you want to be, but we overcome these things,
And we earn it.
About the Artist
The Strange, Strange Tale Called History.
Landon Richmond, born March 16 1984, currently resides in Sarasota, Florida running the Know No Truth Gallery at UTC Mall. When not at his gallery, he is traveling to different cities for art related events. He is a mostly self taught artist that would fall under the surrealist genre. Taking otherworldly, and dark elements to depict real world, concrete emotions he aims to give a visual representation to the thoughts and feelings we all have, are stuck with, and presents them in an explosion of color and wit.
With his first memories being of drawing Godzilla destroying Tokyo while frolicking in a river of blood under a burning sky, it was clear from the start Landon had an attraction to not just art, but darkness. For a child in kindergarten to depicting scenes deemed too intense for school, he was heavily monitored, bullied, and shamed for what he drew. Still, he drew. He drew all the dark things he was shamed for because of the danger, and mystery it presented.
"It's in the dark where all the adventures live"
"Art was the only constant in my life that was positive" Landon reminiscences on his upbringing. Due to the bullying, he stopped showing his art to people despite drawing all day at school. Being social withdrawn, shy, and awkward made it to where he didn't even need to show his art to receive the negative attention which furthered his alienation with those around him. After graduating high school, Landon moved up to Boston for what ended up being a somewhat disastrous college experience. Agoraphobia, mixed with an extreme distaste for art school lead to Landon dropping out of art school.
At least that was what the writing inside the bathroom stall had scribbled on it, where he had gone to hide away during a complete breakdown. He would drop out five minutes later. Zoom forward 3 months, and Landon was working at MIT's gym, the Z Center, as a fitness receptionist. The blank side of the sign up sheets for the cardio machines became his sketch book. Walking home one day, he saw someone selling artwork on Newbury Street's sidewalk in an area people called, "The Slab". He walked up to the artist, and ended up talking about art with the artist, Matthew Taber.
Fate works in strange ways. Five months later, Matt was crashing on Landon's couch, and invited Landon to go sell art with him. With a great deal of terror, he joined and for the first time tried to sell art. Landon was still awkward, shy, and agoraphobic which caused each interaction to be a really, really uncomfortable experience for everyone in a five yard radius. After eight hours he hadn't sold a single thing, and was ready to live in a cave. As he packed up, a neighbor saw him, and possibly out of pity bought something. It was enough encouragement for him to try one more time. So the next day he setup again, and after 8 hours nothing sold. Defeated and crestfallen, he started to pack when he heard, "Oh my god! I love that, I have to have it!" from behind him. It was someone he didn't know, and they wanted to buy some art from him. To Landon, it was the first real sale of art he ever made, and it was all it took for him to fully devote himself to an art career. Within a month, he was making more in a day than he did in two weeks at his job at MIT's gym.
"Ok, lets give this everything."
That was the mantra that fueled Landon during the beginning of his art career. Balancing painting, selling art, and his day job left little time for sleep. It was something he would eventually get use to over the years. Little by little, he cut his hours working at the gym to focus more on art till he finally reached a point were he was able to do art full time. He hired people, and set them up with prints of his work to sell on different sidewalks effectively creating an underground movement in plain sight on Boston's sidewalks. Opportunities opened, company such as Karmaloop started carrying his artwork, but not many galleries were open to displaying Landon's artwork.
"I applied to over one hundred art galleries and only three got back to me. All three rejected me."
Still Landon worked tirelessly, having placed a goal for himself to one day achieve: Open an art gallery of his own on the very street he once sold his work on the sidewalk, and go literally from the ground up. In the meanwhile, the sidewalk he sold his artwork on was about to face the Boston winter. With weather cold as 10 degrees he would still setup his art, and sell it. "I would get so cold that sometimes I was just too cold to shiver, but people still bought art. So, I would stay out there."
After a whole winter of doing that, Landon realized a better way of selling art when the season struck. With his family still in Florida, he arranged a deal with Westfield Square Mall to have a kiosk during the holiday season, so he could sell art and be with family during the holidays. Taking the operation from the sidewalk to a more legit retail setting wasn't too big of a step for Landon. The kiosk setup stream lined everything, so the operation was not so different from the sidewalk. Except now, he didn't have to scramble to pack everything up if it rained, or freeze to death if it was cold.
It was an instant success.
For five years in a row, Landon would come down during the holidays to run the Know No Truth Kiosk for two months, do an art show, then go back to Boston to run the sidewalk operation and do related art projects there. During this time, he slowly built the business model, and foundations that would allow him to move further towards his dream.
He accomplished his dream May of 2015, and 228 Newbury Street became the Know No Truth Gallery. Embracing the ideals he learned through his journey from street artist to gallery owner, he opened a gallery that was much different from all the other galleries in Boston. Despite the art's outwardly dark appearance, the space presented artwork that was accessible with an approachable and friendly atmosphere. Having been on a sidewalk,
He learned that everyone likes art.
It is the price tag, and art gallery atmosphere that people disliked.
The gallery served as a counterpoint to the sterile, boring, silent, elitist, "look but don't touch" art galleries people were so use to. One part cryptic cave, one part majestic church, with a dash of old school record store-cool made the Know No Truth Gallery a stand out attraction on the street.
Of course, the gallery's launch didn't go without any hitch. In fact, it had a major setback the night before the grand opening. Of all nights, it was the night before the grand opening that Landon had a sleep walking incident. While asleep, he walked into the bathroom only to trip over the shower, and smash his lip and front teeth on a marble counter. His assistant, who had been sleeping on the couch, asked a barely conscious, bloody Landon his home address for the ambulance.
"228.... Newbury.... 228 Newbury" Landon kept saying over and over. After his assistant found some mail containing Landon's home address an ambulance was called, and he was rushed to the hospital. It took seventeen stitches inside and out Landon's lip, along with braces along the shattered teeth, to put his face back together.
After he was released from surgery, Landon went straight to the gallery to paint a massive mural.
He Had to wear a surgical mask to avoid possible infection.
The grand opening went on as planned, even though Landon was unable to eat or drink anything, unless it was through a straw. It didn't matter though. Know No Truth on Newbury Street was open. The following months Landon had to have five surgeries to fully recover from his sleep walking injury.
During the gallery's run, there were countless art shows, highs, lows, and countless hours of blood, sweet, tears, and paint.
Most of what was in the gallery was victim to the fire. While the fire was a devastating loss to Landon, it was just a bump in the road. After the initial shock wore off, he became devoted to figuring out one simple thing:
How to get back to work.
Wanting to start small, and be around family, he reached out to Westfield Square Mall in Florida about possibly opening a temporary kiosk during the holidays. Although going from a full on gallery to a kiosk seemed like a step backwards, it would still allow him to work. However upon contacting Westfield, Landon was offered a full on gallery space. What originally started as a two week lease became a two month lease, which then turned to a one year lease.
After a difficult four months, Landon put everything back together with a great deal of work. Now the Know No Truth Gallery 2.0 is open in Sarasota, and there is so much more to come.