I often turn to humor to address serious or controversial subjects in my artwork. With my still life paintings of toys I am examining how symbols are interpreted by individuals and through the lens of cultural dogma. My intention is not to promote a particular concept or ideal, but to inspire analysis and contemplation in my viewers.
Through my Mythica portrait series modernizing ancient Greek myths, I am exploring how our digital age relates to archetypal stories that have been passed down through the millennia. Rather than being illustrative recreations of myths, each portrait is a psychological character study of mostly overlooked or historically incidental individuals.
I work in conversation with my images.
I lay down a partially formed idea about motion, color and underlying experience.
I pull the print and the image suggests to me, sometimes in a whisper, sometimes with a shout, that I could modify that idea.
I lay it down again; pull it again, and again the image answers.
Back and forth we discuss the values, the rhythms, the possibilities, the confusion, the emotion.
If I am fortunate and skillful and deeply observant, there comes a point when we, my print and I, agree.
I am an artist living and working in Southern California. I study and I teach. I am grateful to have this time in my life and the opportunity to do this work. And I am very grateful to my family and my friends who sustain me with their counsel, attention, affection and humor.
My studio is at 3251 Laguna Canyon Road. F/4
You are welcome to visit and see the tools I use to make these images for contemplation.
And have a conversation.
Welcome Home: Invitational Alumni Art Exhibit
Dec. 9, 2015 - Jan. 13, 2016
Artists' Reception: Saturday December 12, at 2 pm. in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall.
An invitational exhibition featuring art and design work by alumni from the Concordia University Art Department.
The World of Pop Art
By Robert Holton
Nov 4 - Nov 18, 2015
Artist's reception and lecture: Wednesday Nov 11, at 6.30 pm. in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall.
As a young boy growing up I always enjoyed making artistic things and knew someday I would be working in a creative environment. Twenty-one years later I am owner of One Day Signs, Inc., a business I started with my father in his garage over two decades ago.
I created images and signs for my clients every day, yet have always desired to start painting for myself. Unfortunately, I have allowed all of life’s ups and downs to get in my way.
This all changed in April of 2003, when my wife Alicia passed away from 4-year battle with cancer. I experienced all emotions one goes through when trying to cope with an illness or death.
Then I turned to painting, which has brought me out of my darkness. The great release of emotion I feel has helped ease the pain and allowed me to start enjoying life again. As I completed each painting, I became inspired with an idea for another. Because of my career in signage, I created a series of paintings of Southern California icons that have brought about happy memories for me at different points in my life. My hope that when my paintings are displayed, viewers can think back to pleasant memories in their own lives.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to create custom art for many high profile companies and individuals. I am currently collected in 8 countries, and look forward to the growth that the future brings.
A few years ago I started my “bucket List”. Life is short and I wanted to create a list of things to experience. There are places I would like to travel to and perhaps live there a bit of time. One of the main things on my list was to move to Laguna Beach and hopefully participate in Sawdust Art Festival. Two years ago I moved to Laguna Beach and was chosen through a lottery system to be in the 2015 event. This past year a lot of things changed in my life, the greatest was when Marita walked into the galley and rocked my world! Marita and I are starting a “Bucket list” together and have traveled together. We have had some great experiences here in Laguna Beach and are engaged to be married.
Life is great, live it for every day that is given to you!
Who knows you might start your ”Bucket List”, be more creative, travel, fall in love.
As seen through the eyes of twelve fiber artists
Oct 7 - Nov 4, 2015
Artists' reception and lecture: Wednesday Oct 21, at 6.30 pm. in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall.
Welcome to Nocturnal Blues as seen through the eyes of a dozen fiber artists.
Based in Southern California, Designing Weavers is a nationally recognized juried fiber guild. Known for the exciting and diverse range of work produced by its members, the group believes in motivating and encouraging excellence in the creation of fiber arts. The guild exhibits widely in an effort to educate the public about the beauty and creativity possible in the fiber arts. Its membership is a cross-section of fiber artists working in tapestry, felting, basketry, traditional weave structures, dyeing and other fiber mediums.
Every year, guild members are challenged to create a thoughtful creative and artistic response to the year's chosen theme. These pieces along with others have been exhibited nationwide. Examples of past themes include Bonds and Connections, Seeing Red, and Ancient Paths – Modern Visions.
Members interpreted this year's theme Nocturnal Blues in a variety of ways from fiber necklaces laced with bullets inspired by the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, to the haunting eyes of a child created from Merino wool. Other works include tapestries that evoke the night sky, several pieces that reflect on insomnia and a variety of jackets in nocturnal blues.
Exhibiting artists include Nicki Bair, Deanna Deeds, Susan Horton, Trish Lange, Sally Raskoff , Michael Rohde, Sandra Rude, Mary Saxton, Deb Shoenberger, Sara Smelt, Rebecca Smith, and Ann Tompkins.
The Designing Weavers website: www.designingweavers.com provides more information about Designing Weavers and its members.
The Simplest JOYS
A collection of digital portraiture inspired by Jessica Joy Rees to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
By Diana Mordin
Sept 9 - Oct 7, 2015.
Artist’s reception and lecture: Wednesday Sept. 16, at 6.30 pm. in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall.
"The Simplest JOYS" is inspired by a 12 year old girl, Jessica Joy Rees, who fought two inoperable brain tumors (DIPG) from March 3, 2011 to January 5, 2012. When diagnosed and going through treatment, Jessie chose to spread JOY to other children battling cancer. She created JoyJars® and shared her message with the world to NEGU, "NEVER EVER GIVEUP". On January 5th, 2012, Jessie gained her wings but the legacy she left behind continues with her foundation and so many of us.
"The Simplest JOYS" features digital portraits of 20 kids who also chose to see the simplest joy during their own battles with cancer. Through the hardest battles of their lives, they chose to celebrate the good days with family and friends, giggle, dance, and encourage other kids.
Since graduating Cal State Long Beach, my work has been focused on raising awareness for childhood cancer. For more than three years now, I have made it my mission to be one of the voices for these amazing children, working with the Jessie Rees Foundation and other local childhood cancer foundations.
Since my first portrait of Jessie Rees, one week after her diagnosis in 2011, I have had the honor of doing more than 50 digital portraits of these children whose lives have been impacted by cancer… a small portion of the nearly 50,000 kids battling in the US today. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every day 46 children are diagnosed with cancer and 7 gain their wings. Please join me in seeing "The Simplest JOYS" of life and celebrating these special children.
Read more about the Jessie Rees Foundation.