Painter Robert Standish practices a transcendent expressionism in which abstractions become occasions for, and locations of, sensations of awe, wonder, and emotional depth. Guided by organic principles of rhythm, motion, sublimated patterns, saturated color, and rich texture, Standish’s gestures in thick paint channel, replicate, honor, and expand on the hidden forces that organize the universe. Eschewing a prior photorealist voice in favor of a different way of connecting with life’s events and experiences, Standish plugs directly into the source now rather than recording its effects. Although his vivid style and intuitive process sometimes alight upon moments that evoke the outside world, it’s Standish’s concern to access a meta-language of pure gesture and color that enriches the interior landscape.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
ROBERT STANDISH: One day in kindergarten, all the kids got a chance to paint using a large easel. My mom arrived to pick me up. She was used to hearing from the teacher that I had performed unsatisfactorily, but to my surprise the teacher led her to my painting and with a smile said, ” Look at what Robby painted.” I knew then.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Trying to be one.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
I dropped out. My major was Illustration, but in retrospect, If I had majored in Fine Art, I would’ve likely stayed.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I was born in L.A., and although I’ve lived in other places, L.A. always feels like home, and has the best light and weather for working. Oh—and as a taco lover ours are rated in the top five for U.S. cities.
When was your first show?
1998 at Gallery 825 in L.A. I was painting photorealism at the time.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
Current solo shows are in New York City, San Francisco, and upcoming in Costa Mesa on November 18th—all at Martin Lawrence Galleries.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
It’s hard to pick a single one. I’ve been very lucky to have shown with several on my list, including Haring, Richter, Basquiat, Murakami, Picasso, and Sam Francis, so I’ll go with ones that I haven’t—Tom Wesselman or Joan Mitchell.
Website and socials, please!
FB: @Robert Standish Art
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