Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Referencing Tradition: Elliott Robbins

Elliott Robbins, Muskogee
Elliott Robbins, Whistler's Brother From Another Mother, Oil on Panel,  35x25"
What is your concept and inspiration for this piece in Momentum?
Robbins: My initial idea was to depict myself in a composition that referenced an older work of art and this project presented a nice opportunity to explore that. Here I choose to reference James Whistler's "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1," aka "Whistler's Mother." I really loved the simplicity and technique of that painting so in a way I set up my own painting based off of this reference material. 

Self-portraiture is something that I have been doing a lot of in my work recently so I thought it would be a good idea use that as well. Referencing older works of art is a recurring theme in my work, but unlike any other painting I've done this one most directly references a very well known pieces.

Please explain the technique and/or process you used to create this work.
Robbins: The painting is sort of a humorous homage to Whistler's Mother. I painted it very traditionally and in certain areas distorted the form so that it made the figure look almost like a caricature or a cartoon. I was really trying to stylistically match artists like Whistler, and Sargent who would often time do paintings that looked very loose and impressionistic with a few crisp details in the face as the focal point of the piece. My hope with this painting is that people will walk away from this painting appreciating the humor in it.

Where else can audiences see your artwork?
Robbins: You can see more of my work on my Tumblr blog: bcrbyt.tumblr.com and on my Blogspot page: bcrtyb.blogspot.com

This artwork will appear in Momentum OKC, opening March 1 & 2 at the 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. View, experience and purchase art by Oklahoma emerging young artists. Learn more at www.MomentumOklahoma.org.

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