Friday, July 24, 2009

Robert Longo

Robert Longo's studio, The Selby

We all feel moved by works of art for different reasons, but having the chance to peak inside an artist's studio can really transform the relationship you have with their work. It's a reminder that the pieces you love don't just magically appear on the gallery wall. They are the slow, meditative work of a pair of hands, masterfully employing a medium to create something beautiful out of what was previously just a bunch of art supplies. For me, it's a wonderful reminder that art isn't something apart and untouchable, but something that is brought to life through labor and creativity, just like you or I might bring to life a recipe or a room.

The work of Robert Longo always reminds me of this through the sheer simplicity of materials: charcoal on paper. Using only what those of you who have ever taken an art class know to be the most elemental of building blocks, he creates images so striking, they stay with you long after you've looked away. Some of Longo's work was featured in the first issue of Dossier, and his work is currently on view as part of The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 show at The Met. Best of all, The Selby recently shot Longo's studio here in NYC. I'm off to grab a pad of paper and some charcoal and get to work. Happy Friday!

Portrait of the artist, The Selby

Works in progress, The Selby

The Selby

The Selby

Robert Longo, Untitled (Spanish Blood, Lion's Gate), 2000

Robert Longo, Untitled (Exterior Apartment Door with Nameplate and Peephole, 1938), 2000

Robert Longo, Untitled (Shark 5), 2007

Robert Longo, Untitled (Chair in Sunlight, Sitting Room, 1938), 2000

Robert Longo, Untitled (Cindy), 1981

Robert Longo, Studio Installation View - September, 2005

Robert Longo, Studio Installation View - September, 2008

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