From Australia to Los Angeles to New York.
by Sydney Vogl
Take one look at Brad Robson’s work, and you’ll find he is anything but ordinary. The Australian-born painter and muralist creates pieces that vibrate energy straight from the canvas to the viewer. His partially abstract portraits boast strong, emphasized strokes. His urban landscapes burst with life. His use of color is delicate and just right — never overwhelming and always necessary. Robson uses a variety of tools to emulate his aesthetic. “I use a lot of different instruments. I apply with brushes and then stroke it back with different blades.”
In 2011, Robson completed his first artist residency. In 2013, he landed his first solo show in Brooklyn, NY. In 2015, his work graced the same walls as icons Pollack and Warhol. 2016 brought him his biggest mural to date, in Barcelona. Like the man himself, Robson’s road to his now booming career has been anything but ordinary. He’s dabbled in everything from a career in graphic design to spending five years singing and songwriting (“Music was a huge part of my life. It was one of my first loves.”). He has no formal fine art training, and he seems to like it that way. “It’s all been me messing around, teaching myself.” Robson believes in trusting his gut. “There’s a certain point in your life where you say, ‘This is just who I am. I’m an artist, and I need to pursue it.’ And if you follow that instinct then all the doors open up. If I didn’t follow my instinct, then I would not have evolved into who I am today.”
Robson’s career is one experimentation after another, and his path as an artist is no different. “It is absolutely necessary for me to evolve,” he says. Change is a big inspiration for Robson, which is why he allows his pieces to develop, rather than forcing them into what he thinks they should be. “Don’t limit yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to let go because you want to stay within the confines of what you already know, but I think it’s really important to go beyond that, whenever you do something.” Robson has never been an artist to stay confined to a certain medium, style, or aesthetic. “I don’t have any limitations on what I do and how I experiment. I’ll try everything.”
Robson recently took on Los Angeles, where he was commissioned by the Vintage Los Feliz Theatre to create a mural featuring Cate Blanchett, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Taylor and Charlie Chaplin. You can keep up with Brad Robson and his work by visiting his website http://www.bradrobson.com.au/.