Rich Shapero is a writer and musician whose multimedia storytelling projects pioneer unseen worlds. His projects include Arms from the Sea, The Hope We Seek, Too Far and Wild Animus.
At the heart of his stories are vast wildernesses, populated by mercurial private gods who promise deliverance to truer, more profound states of being. But transcendence demands sacrifice, and the paths of his protagonists are fraught with danger, dread and violence.
Combining lucid prose with entrancing music, Rich conjures immersive visionary landscapes and characters who struggle to achieve summits of personal fulfillment. > More about Rich
Arms from the Sea
Lyle is a young man who hates his life in the State of Salt, a cultural and literal desert. He vandalizes a State icon, then swallows a poison pill that transports him not to death, but to a liminal realm—blue, aquatic, and wholly alien.
He’s rescued and shepherded by henchmen of the Polyp, god of the watery realm they call “heaven.” A series of encounters unfolds between Lyle and the monstrous, seductive god, who gradually reveals his grandeur and mysterious purpose.
Lyle is horrified at first but soon finds himself falling for the Polyp, and the potent and bizarre creative potential he represents . . .
Whimsical and outlandish but also timely and dead serious, Arms from the Sea plunges into imagined realms of possibility, pointing to what it might mean to redeem a desolate world.> More about Arms from the Sea
The Hope We Seek
Rich Shapero's The Hope We Seek follows Zachary Knox, a sharpshooter whose search for gold leads him north to a mining camp that's home to a cult. Zack determines to overthrow the mine boss—until Hope appears and reveals the astonishing future she has in mind for him. To tell his story, Shapero fuses his provocative novel with hypnotic, original music and Visionary art. The result is a riveting and fully immersive storytelling experience.> More about The Hope We Seek
Rich Shapero’s Too Far follows a pair of ultra-imaginative six-year-olds, Robbie and Fristeen, through a transformative summer spent exploring the woods behind their remote Alaskan homes. Too Far combines Rich’s enchanting novel with his original music to create an exhilarating storytelling experience.> More about Too Far
Rich Shapero’s Wild Animus is the story of a young idealist, Ransom Altman, whose quest for fundamentals drives him to the Alaskan wilderness where, alone with his dangerous ideas, he transforms himself into a wild creature of prey. In the wild he finds himself pursued by a strangely familiar pack of wolves. To tell his story, Shapero has crafted a new art form that intricately interweaves book and music.
> More about Wild Animus
Discover the Visual Art
The late Visionary artist, Donald Pass, provided the artwork for The Hope We Seek.
"I first became familiar with Donald's work about eight years ago. I heard about his vision in the churchyard, and I found it easy to believe that the scenes depicted in his paintings came from a real experience. They are that vivid. That impactful."
Rich’s passion for the work of Visionary artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein motivated him to seek out and publicly display the best of the artist’s paintings from 1954-1963 at vonbruenchenhein.com.
“I first saw Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s paintings in 2003. I found them mysterious and evocative, and full of energy. The more I looked at them, the more they expanded beyond the borders of the frame. They seemed to carry with them a complex history, as if they were glimpses of a world distant from our own. Many appeared to depict an event—on land, underwater, or in deep space—drawn from some alien cosmogony. The paintings were relatively inexpensive, so I purchased a few. A couple of years later, I purchased a few more. And a few more. I loved the places they took me and the power they had to stimulate my imagination. Finally, my enthusiasm for the paintings reached the point that I wanted to share them. So, in May, 2009, we launched vonbruenchenhein.com.”
François Burland is a highly acclaimed Visionary artist, often counted among painters of the Art Brut aesthetic. He has brought Wild Animus to life.