This month marked a personal milestone, as of this month I have been working as a professional artist for 40 years. What follows is a selection of one piece from each of the last 40 years. I’m not posting these because of my pride in the work as much as that I am interested in finding my own voice, and an occasional look backwards can be interesting as well as instructive, at least to me. Through todays eyes, some of these are dated, some of them cringe-worthy, a few hold up- but i think each one of them couldn’t have happened withought their author being imformed by having made it’s predecesors. so:
Beginning in 1980:
1980 Alcoholic Father Listen magazine
1981 Atari Star Raiders box cover
1982 Dancer personal work from series
1983 Children of dependency Listen Magazine
1984 The Walking Drum. First Book Cover
1985 OBI 1 created for San Francisco Society of Illustrators show poster (unused)
1986 Williams Sonoma annual report
1987 George Jones Super Hits Album cover
1988 Shaman book cover
1989 Secret Garden book cover
1990 Bay Bridge Earthquake series
1981 Kilauea United Nations Environmental program
1982 Taos Pueblo Pendelton Woolen Mills ad campaign
1983 Self Made Man (unused ad campaing for bank)
1984 Tour de France documentary series bicycling magazine
1995 Dreamworks logo
1996 Girl of the Year : Edie Segewick Tryptich Society of Illustrators retrospective (with Kazu Sano) :
1997 Blue Rose Girl from series of gallery paintings
1998 poster for lecture at Syracuse University
1999 Outlaws of Sherwood Book cover
2000: Picture of the day year end Roundup. trying to find my own voice after 20 years
2001 Personal work, Bush administration “collector’s plates”
2002 “plein air” study (painted in a cemetery). First time ever painting outside of the studio. Baby Steps.
2003 Stowe Lake 2 Landscape painting push phase one.
2004 This is Just To Say From The Poetry of William Carlos Williams (published as illustrated by my temporary alterego “Robert Crockett”)
2005 Poetry for Young People: The Seasons (published as illustrated by my temporary alterego “Robert Crockett”)
2006 The Jungle – book cover
2007 Oedipus Rex book cover
2008 caesars palace mural
2009 The Jade Man’s skin book cover
2010 Mt. Tam 7 landscape painting – phase 2. making a serious push with my first solo show of landscape work.
2012 Obama / The New Republic.
2012 Rolling Stones rolling stone
2013 Autumn Sonata Criterion Collection
2014 show of landscapes from Everest region of Nepal
2015 Picnic at Hanging Rock Criterion collection
2016, Anti trump personal piece
2017 The Ballad of Black Tom book cover
2018 Lie detector– Time
2019 The Vetting Tor..com
2020: Death Row: the New Washington Monument (for Liberty Magazine, formerly called Listen magazine, see illustration number 1, from 1980, above.
Like everyone else, this pandemic has been wearing on me, and I’m kind of talked out for the moment. I think this month I’m just letting the work -or rather my evolution through the work – do the talking.
As Mr. Glaser said (see my pervious post) : “Art is Work”.
A wonderful look back, Robert. And “Obi 1” has always been one of my absolute favorite paintings that you’ve done. Here’s to another 40 years!
Thank you Mr. Fenner!
I swear to god there is not a contributor on this site without TDS
So wonderful to see your work over the years! Can’t wait to see what is next! You need another show at SI with the new work!
One of the things I find most impressive about you, Robert, is that you’ve been doing this as long as you have, and your work STILL looks fresh and current.
Thank you Dan. I do my best, sometimes it works.
Amazing sample of an amazing body of work.
Thank you Chris!
“Of course we have a no politics rule!” -> Features blatantly political art including turning the Washington Monument into a KKK klansman. I’m done with Muddy Colors.
You do realize that that piece is an ACTUAL COMMISSION, for an ACTUAL MAGAZINE, right? Believe it or not, people get hired to paint political images, and portraits all the time. It’s a HUGE portion of the illustration market. It’s not an agenda.
Get over it.
Furthermore, you are NOT understanding that picture correctly, AT ALL.
I’ve been reading MC for a few years now and I honestly didn’t know there was a supposed no politics rule until people started mentioning it in the comments. I don’t know if it’s real or not, though. I mean really I can’t imagine how there is one given some of the things that get posted to this blog. If there is then I can’t imagine what it must be to where it doesn’t get broken routinely.
Either way, Dan, I have to say that I AM disappointed in the way you respond to discontents. It is always extremely rude. I know you are generally a very kind and helpful person but any time an argument of if something is political or not comes up you are always incredibly spiteful and rude.
If I come off as rude, it’s because I’m tired of the same people, complaining, over and over and OVER, insulting our contributors with vile language, and doing it while using proxy servers so they can remain anonymous. They are being given free information that a lot of people selflessly invest a TON of time into, and all they can do is complain.
It grows tiresome.
As for your other comment about our “rules”… we allow political religious art for the purposes of representation, history, and inspiration. We do not allow political and religious discourse in our articles.
Allow me to respond.
The story I illustrated here was about the ramifications of a recent Supreme court decision. In 2019 the Supreme court upheld an Alabama prisons decision to refuse a Muslim death row prisoner’s request to have an Imam present at his executuion. (As opposed to the prison’s Christian chaplain). An appeals court had granted a stay until the supreme court could determine whether the prison had violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by preferring one religion over another. The court ruled in support of the prison’s denial of the inmates request, , and the execution proceeded.
My illustration was metaphorically illustrating a speculative future contemplated by the author of the article, in which the Establishment clause of the constitution is no longer relevant.
KILLER post! congrats on 40 years. heres to at least 40 more :D! Such an impressive breadth of stuff and its ALL SO GOOD. Thanks for doing what you do.
Robert, I’ve always enjoyed your artistry! Beautiful paintings, beautiful illustrations. Really enjoyed seeing your work through the years. Especially enjoyed reminiscing on the ones from the early 80’s. Hope all is well with you!
This is wonderful, Robert! All the pieces are amazing but I was wondrously surprised that you had done that Atari game cover, which on artistic and non-artist career levels influenced my life. Thank you for such a wonderful life in art!