BRAD ROBSON was born in Sydney, Australia and currently works out of his studio in Marrickville, travelling internationally a few times a year for overseas exhibitions and residencies.
Robson cultivated his life along the path of thorough experimentation in multiple fields before arriving at the decision to devote his life to creating art. Robson sought his first opportunity Illustrating for a small surf brand on the North Coast of NSW at the young age of 19.
Robson continued to develop his Illustration work and painting on a self-taught basis whilst running his own roofing business to support himself. Completing his studies in Graphic Design in the evenings, this propelled him into the teacher’s chair lecturing in Album Sleeve Design at Commercial Arts Training College in Sydney.
in 2011 Robson completed a residency in Illustration and Visual Storytelling at the famed School of Visual Arts in NYC, (awarded Alumni), and has since had an ongoing love affair with the Big Apple.
Robson’s first real ‘Solo’ show was with the Berlin Collective in Redhook, Brooklyn, 2013. Since then, he caught the eye of New York Director John Woodward (Woodward Gallery) and has been featured in three simultaneous New York City solo exhibitions, as well as numerous other shows in and around Sydney.
2015 saw a big step forward in Robson's career working with Woodward Gallery in NYC. Firstly painting panels for the 'Ghost' project, then onto The Pool Room Mezzanine of the historic Four Seasons Restaurant at 99 East 52nd Street with his large scale urban-scene canvases. Being hung on the same wall as Picasso, Pollack and Warhol to name a few.
As an advocate for the growth of the Australian arts community, he has accomplished many collaborative projects, including several with Arts Organisation Create or Die, Kitsune Films, fellow artists and has even owned an art gallery in Sydney’s Chippendale Creative Precinct. Robson has been commissioned for several commercial and public works and can be seen in a number of local bars and cafes around Sydney’s inner west.
2016 also marks the biggest mural that ROBSON has undertaken. Carried out in a rural district of Barcelona, Robson reimagine a giant 14 metre high portrait titled “Above The Law”. “The mural concept came from a portrait study whilst painting work for a gallery in Germany.”
Late 2016, Robson returned to NYC to work further with Woodward Gallery, painting another series to be exhibited at the gourmet Garage Lincoln Centre and painting a gate (As part of the 100 gates project) on the Lower East Side before his return to Sydney.
Intuitive, unfettered and free, for Brad Robson, art is synonymous with the process of channeling an instinctive vision.
Robson’s emotive portraits and vibrant cityscapes are a snapshot of a moment in time, a thought on what it means to be present. Urban spaces, the human psyche and pop-culture are key influences in Robson's painting, but these symbols emerge out of the immediacy of his process.
Exploring the impermanent nature of human existence, the expressionist execution in the faces Robson paints illustrates the truth; that change is constant and nothing stays the same.
“I’m caught in a perpetual need to connect to all stimuli outside of myself, that of which is in a continual flux. It’s like we are all expecting it all to stop so we can make our final judgements. Then we realise that this will never happen.”
For Robson, a good piece will take over and begin to create itself. Whether a fractured portrait or an abstract landscape, Robson doesn’t fully know how a painting will look when it’s finished.
Through this sense of urgency Robson injects life into his paintings, using expressive and lucid brush strokes, the images takes on it’s own journey for the viewer.
“It’s a vehicle for growth, a way to tap into my real self and make magic, magic that comes from the depths of my deepest instinct, it’s the blood in my veins, it’s the sun on my face. Without it, I’m just like a shadow of what I could have been.”
Robson believes that he has to be willing to risk it all in order for the painting to reach it’s ultimate potential and highest purpose.
“I can’t be scared to fuck it up, because that risks something far greater - the painting never reaching its truest form.”
Robsons portraits speak of a universal connection as he blurs the lines between recognizable faces and the abstracted. Between reality and someone you will or might be one day. Between dreams past and present time. Terrors. Hopes. Dreams…. There are many facets of the human condition. What is behind the eyes? What a person has gone through and how they’ve connected with life and those around them.
“There is a light in the dark as well. We live in a society where we are in heaven and hell everyday. We choose to stay in heaven OR hell - daily. I believe that there is no such thing as a hell we go to. We are either in it or not on a daily basis. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, love or joy.”
A purely self taught painter, Robson is constantly challenging himself, learning new techniques and methods, dedicating time to research and mastering new skills… and then turning it all on it’s head again.
2013 - July: “New Works” Solo show, Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sydney
2013 - March/April: “Blindsight” Solo Exhibition, Brooklyn Gallery, NY
2013 - March: “To Deny Our Nothingness” Group show, Gallery Brooklyn, NY
2014 - December: “Together Alone" Solo show, Create Or Die, Sydney. NSW
2015 - March: Solo show as part of Spectrum Now Festival. Three Williams Cafe, Redfern, Sydney. NSW
2015 - May: "Ghost Project" Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2015 - May: “Soho Exhibition” Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2015 - June: “Four Seasons NYC” Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2013 - July: “Run, Rabit, Run” Group show, Westside Gallery, NYC
2013 - February: “33 Degress” Group Show, Kaleidoscope, Sydney, NSW
2012 - September: Art EXPO, exhibition. Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, NSW
2012 - March: Platform 72, exhibition. Oxford Street, Sydney, NSW
2011 – June/July: School of Visual Arts, New York City. Study/Residency - Illustration and Visual storytelling.