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Bryan Robertson

Bryan Robertson


About Bryan

Bryan Robertson lives in the mountains of Northern Arizona between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. As a professional educator, he teaches a variety of college-level visual arts courses and, as department chair, works with a diverse group of students and teachers. His research into utilizing Artificial Intelligence in the classroom seeks to find what AI cannot accomplish. He has since co-authored Creative Convergence: The AI Renaissance in Art and Design (2024). Robertson’s visual art utilizes paint and pixels to explore an ongoing cultural dislocation in modern society. Robertson has held national and international exhibitions, including solos in the USA and Korea and group exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles. Publications of his work include Studio Visit magazine, 3Elements Literary Review, Politics in Collage, and New Media Art 2023. Recent exhibitions include the CiCA Museum, Long Island Museum of Art, Broward College, and James May Gallery. 

Artist Statement

What fascinates him most about the current state of imagery is its poor and dispossessed state. On the one hand, images today are a powerful method of communication, but on the other hand, a single image means less than it ever has. For these artworks, his research begins with the “Time 100 Greatest Photos” as a starting point to investigate where imagery can still obtain elite status and conjure an emotional response through cultural, historical, geographical, and epistemological contexts. 

The Time 100 displays authority, a visceral reminder of who controls the levers of power, how they pull them, and whom it affects. Through a translation of these famous images into lyrical works of abstraction, through fluid and deliberate mark-making and surface handling, his  digital paintings expose the hidden energy of these photographs. By removing the visual connection to time and place, his work reinterprets and subverts the apparent significance of the original images. 

Translating these images into works of beauty and meditation transcends their original meaning. The original story remains because the title remains; this asks whether the imagery or the words associated with the image are more important. For instance, in “Falling Man,” we see a series of vertical lines laid on top of each other with one particularly squiggly line surrounded by a flash of light. If this image was titled “Lightning,” how would its visual memory linger in the cultural narrative? As a visual artist, he seeks to ask the opposite question, how does removing the imagery associated with the words affect its meaning? In his painting, are the streaks indicative of a Falling Person? In these artworks, the viewer must decide what the Falling Man is, who they are, and why it is happening. And that is the power of visual art, to translate the known into something unknown. 


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