Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Fairley III.
Hi Robert, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Well, I actually fell in love with art at a very young age. I was four years old when I first started drawing and I just kept doing it. It went from being a hobby to a career after I graduated high school. Now I’m 23 years old and creating all of these beautiful paintings.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I was always encouraged by my mother, family, friends, and some art teachers, but there was always a thought in the back of my head like “Am I actually going to be able to make this a career?”, “Will I be successful?”, “Will people buy my work?”. I had all these self-doubts and then when I went to art college for two years that really made it worse. I used to always have my differences with my art professors in college and I definitely stood out considering the fact that it was a predominantly white college. I was one of maybe 20 black students in the entire college, so social anxiety was very much real for me, lol. With all of that and me struggling with my sexuality, depression hit me hard. I finished my second year of college and never went back.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Well, I am a painter, I’m mostly known for my celebrity work. I made these fabric paintings where I used oil paint on top of floral fabric and it’s a series that has caught a lot of attention. My “Queen” piece specifically has been my most popular painting I would say, it’s a painting of Nicki Minaj that I made during the releasing of her debut album “Queen”. I actually created that painting in the midst of my depression and I would say that painting gave me hope and more drive to continue pushing on in life honestly. The painting that I’m most proud of is my self-portrait. It’s my biggest painting til this day, it’s 4ft by 7ft long, I built the frame myself and immediately started working on it when I moved into my very first apartment last year. I’m so proud of this painting because it represents my newfound freedom, accepting myself and my sexuality proudly. I’m naked on the clouds in front of a rainbow because I am the pot of gold, lol. I think what sets me apart from other artists is my personality honestly, if you go on my Instagram, you won’t just see an artist standing next to his paintings or just the artwork. You’re going to see my personality, my goofiness, my crazy and fun behavior, my transparency. I’m a complete character and I believe you can feel it in some of my work.
Do you have any childhood memories that you can share with us?
Wow, this is a good question, lol. I have to be honest, I don’t know if I have one. I was literally stuck on this question for 10 minutes trying to think of something. I mean my childhood wasn’t necessarily bad, but I don’t think I have a favorite childhood memory, lol.
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Robert Fairley III