Brad Robson was born in Sydney, Australia. He divides his time working out of his studio in Marrickville and participating in residencies and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.
From humble beginnings on Australia’s east coast, Robson began illustrating for a surf brand at the age of 19. Spending most of his twenties playing in bands and experimenting in graphic art, Robson was compelled to develop a greater understanding of the visual elements of his creative production.
It is Robson’s devotion to experimentation and hard work that enabled the painter to launch a construction company specializing in roofing which enabled him to propagate his art career that he owns and directs today.
In 2006 he began studying graphic design and before long, he was sharing his passion for music and visual art, teaching album sleeve design at the Commercial Arts Training College in Sydney.
Robson completed his first artist residency in 2011 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has had an ongoing love affair with the Big Apple ever since.
Robson’s first real solo show was with the Berlin Collective in Redhook, Brooklyn in 2013.
In 2015 Robson painted panels for the Woodward Galleries outdoor street art venue, Ghost, and later that year was hung work on the same walls as Pollack and Warhol at the historic Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City.
Robson has participated in many collaborative projects, His murals have been used as film backdrops, on the walls of SBS World Movies, and his book illustrations in the Australian feature film, The School. 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”.
Robson returns to America again in 2017 working on new projects in NYC and Los Angeles.
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 its 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.
2016 Nov: Gourmet Garage, Lincoln Center, New York City.
2015 June: “Four Seasons NYC” John Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2015 May: “Ghost Project” John Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2015 May: “Soho Exhibition” John Woodward Gallery, New York City.
2015 March: Solo show as part of Spectrum Now Festival. Three Williams Cafe, Redfern, Sydney. NSW
2014 December: “Together Alone” Solo show, Create Or Die, Sydney. NSW
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
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.