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Check out Colin Roberts’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colin Roberts.

Colin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’m originally from Fullerton about an hour from LA in OC. As a baby, my godmother would hand me a pencil in my high chair when I would cry. My scribbles eventually turned into drawings. Later I grew up skateboarding and surfing. The creativity and visuals from that culture helped influence my art practice growing up and still does. I ended up designing skateboard graphics for a few companies before coming to LA.

I moved to Los Angeles to attend Otis School of Art and Design in 1997 and graduated with a BFA in sculpture. After graduating, I kept up my studio practice and began showing in galleries. I also began working in different creative industries like film, design, toy, fashion, and architecture, designing and fabricating things of all types. Working with these different types of artists and designers who used such different methods of application and materials helped inspire and influence my own art practice in various ways.

Now my studio/ design house is in Alhambra in Los Angeles. In April 2017 I started LAVA Projects Gallery at the same location. It’s a gallery project space for emerging artists and exhibitions of all types to enhance and contribute to the cultural and creative landscapes of Los Angeles.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work consists of a language of sculpture, drawing, painting, and installation that explore various themes revolving around the human condition. The pieces evoke uncanny imagery from both past and present. They are experiments obscured in strange and fantastical ways using surrealism and abject tactics, among others. Kaleidoscopic Glass Pillows, Bubblewrap Sculptures, prosthetic limb creatures, miniature men on boobs and Pocket Therapist Ears are some of the pieces that make up my body of work. The art is a careful balance of my life interests like science, the grotesque, politics, and humor, calculated to lead the viewer to question their personal thoughts on various subjects. Through this, the works have the ability to cross significant cultural, social and psychic boundaries.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Artists fill a number of different roles in society, and their subjects and interests vary, so I can’t speak for others. I tend to have many different bodies of work going on at the same time. Some of them deal with current political topics, some don’t. Two bodies of work that I feel touch upon current international issues are my Tiny Men On Tits series and The Pocket Therapist Ear series.

My Tiny Men On Tits series are sculptures of realistic life-size women’s breasts with tiny naked men on them performing everyday tasks and rituals, some very private. The men are trapped on the island-like breasts. No matter what the tiny men do, they are dependent on the giant breast for survival, as they once were… I feel these works can say a lot quickly about men and women’s relationships and sexual/ social politics. Both the men and breasts are also made up of all different ethnicities as I do feel a responsibility as a visual artist to include people of all backgrounds in the work for others to see.

My Pocket Therapist Ear series is a silicone life-like ear that you carry around in your purse to talk to when you need to. I also stick hard resin cast Ears up around cities in public places, like random walls and telephone poles, in case you need someone to chat to. It’s a humorous body of work, however, it speaks about different subjects that I feel are relevant to our current social and political climate. They are made up of all skin colors. Firstly we need to start listening more intently and actually hear each other if we are to solve things. This is the most basic premise of The Pocket Therapist series. It also touches on one of the most simple things we need as humans- someone to talk to, someone to listen to us. This could be in an intimate setting or very public. The pieces seem to bring up discussions about what our government does not provide enough of for its citizens- affordable health care and better mental health provisions. Also, what (nonhuman entities) are we and will we be telling our private thoughts to in the near future? Why would it be weird at all to talk to a random Ear on a street corner? It’s already normal for us to have conversations with multiple nonliving things in our daily lives.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can visit my website www.colinrobertsart.com or @colinrobertsart and contact me to schedule a studio visit. I also work with private dealers for certain works. You can visit www.lavaprojectsgallery.com or @lava_projects to see what exhibitions are happening at the gallery. The best way to support the work of any artist is to go to their exhibitions and buy their work.

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