|Reviews And Writings
Guy Robinson - H.L. Stine Fine Arts Atlanta Ga.
Dan Liss - Art Papers Dec. 1989
What we see in art is often what we are looking for, or at least
what we are open to seeing. Guy Robinson, in his painting and sculpture, offers us a number of ways to
interact with his work. At first glance, it is easy to look at the classical forms and the craftsmanship in these
works; occasional titles from classical Greek mythology gives these forms a resonance that we might feel, for
instance, in viewing gargoyles on an old cathedral. Most of Robinson's faces have a finely honed ambiguity, in
the curve of a lip, the tilt of the head, the openness of the eyes. We bring our own feelings to the work: if we
are feeling joy, we will see a reflection of it here; and if we are feeling pain, we will find a reflection of that here
If we expect art to raise questions and stimulate discussion, the imagery and symbols in Robinson's work are
rich with these opportunities also. Many of the paintings, for example, include tools of he painter and
sculptor.Clearly the process intrigues Robinson as much as the end result. Not all these pieces, though are
dead serious stuff. Some pieces are marvelously playful, such as the "Rebellious Still Life" , in which all the
vegetables are assuming the classic pose, but they are the wrong colors. In "Which Came First?" a bird gives
an egg much larger than itself a quizzical eye.
Like many other artists, Robinson sometimes uses titles to raise more questions than he answers. A stunning
portrait labeled "Initiation #2" is a case in point. The image of a nude woman standing with a dog,looking off to
the side is captivating simply as a striking, colorful image. But what does the title mean? Your guess is as
good as mine, but once we have the title fixed in our minds, it forces us to consider the subject from new
"One Of A Kind" is loaded with a combination of symbols right up front. At first we see a fish with a bright
colored bull's eye and an arrow piercing it. A closer examination shows the fish with a bird's face. And it
appears to be set on a palette, with a paintbrush to one side. Then again, on the left side of the painting is a
knife, fork and napkin, and an apple. Do we eat this fish, mount it, or what?
Two of the sculptures explore in symbols the separation of male and female aspects that we often hear about
from counselors and healers. The traditional male roles are explored in "Systems Of Logic #1", which has a
square hole in the top of its head. "Systems Of Logic #2" wears a heart on its face, portraying the traditionally
female roles of intuition and emotion. One of the paintings in the show balances these roles by joining them
The sculpture "Woman Possessed By Her Own Shadow" becomes more haunting with each viewing. The face
is divided in half, with one side very focused and attractive. The other is unfinished and disturbing. Other
pieces are more ironic, like "Small Saint", in which a figure's halo looks like someone has driven spikes into his
head. In one simple image, Robinson gives us the good news and the bad news about being a saint.
Overall, the body of work presented in this show refers us to our own joy, pain, separation, beauty, and
humor. One mythological theme, "Pygmalion", plays a part in several of the titles. Pygmalion thought he could
be happy just by creating statues, but he was so successful in creating a beautiful woman in stone that he
regretted that he never took the time to develop a relationship with a real woman. The statue was, of course,
brought to life by the gods. With Robinson's work there is a feeling that he has both brought art to life and
brought life to art, and the audience can tap in from either direction.
|Winsor Newton: Three Tubes Of Paint
(after a painting by g. g. Robinson)
When the cap is off,
Each thin metal tube
The mind's eye
conjures them up,
always wishing to be pleased.
Out of the Prussian Blue tube
a monochrome face tendrils free,
floating in a deep fog,
leaving the casing flatter,
vacated at the bottom
curled in on itself,
Some of the Alizarin Crimson
escapes like visible ammonia.
in a red cloud,
A rose without thorns or scent
sits buoyed above its larval stage.
This mundane metamorphosis
is as ordinary
as the sun and stars.
Though painting is still slight of hand,
like rabbits or doves, the images
fly away from the magician
K. Winfield Teel 7-10-86
|Paris is always the smell of fresh
bread and diesel fumes
of great art and daily eccentricities.
I fell in love with the faces of the
who have seen too much to smile
or too much not to.
I did not choose the people I drew
They were etched into my brain
with the way their features
had arranged themselves
in the course of a life:
the way they used them,
I tried to draw the small things
that make a soul fit
into a body.