Reviews And Writings
Sill Life (Some Assembly Required)                 
Copyright  Guy Robinson 2015
Throwing A Brick At The Window Of Reality       Pam Perry   Creative Loafing   8/17/87

A present for his wife led artist Guy Robinson into a new direction in his work.   Although he includes
sculptural imagery in his paintings, Robinson had not attempted sculpture until he made an offbeat birdbath,
carved from Indiana limestone, as a birthday surprise. This led to a series of sculptures, currently on display
along with Robinson's paintings at the Gallery At CNN Center.
Robinson's work is symbolic in nature, incorporating mystical, mysterious images. The paintings and
sculpture are intriguing because of their enigmatic nature and their underlying whimsicality. "Household
Sphinx", for example, is a catlike creature with a human face. It conjures thoughts of ancient wisdom, the
interrelation of the species, and the sheer folly of how cats might appear if they had large noses. This
delightful creature is also represented in one of the paintings in the show. Another canvas, "Canopic Jars",
depicts images of sculpture related to the shapes in "Eden's Birdbath", a 54-inch sculpture intended for
outdoor avian use. Canopic jars were vessels used by the ancient Egyptians for preserving the viscera of  
the dead usually for burial with the mummy. Not an image that makes us think of  starlings on the wing, but it
does tie in with the universal cycle of death and transformation. Whether Robinson meant the association
hardly matters, because his work is open wide to interpretation. In an artist's statement accompanying the
exhibit, he wrote, "My work...is intended to involve the viewer in an internal dialogue. We humans build for
ourselves closed perceptual and conceptual boxes. Art can cut windows, or knock holes out of these little
boxes we have been calling reality. I have concluded that art is defined  by its very lack of definition. I cannot
explain my work rationally. If I could I would not bother to paint it. It is a mystery expressing a mystery- a
paradox exploring a paradox."  Robinson's mysteries encompass a wide variety of subject matter, from
"Mermaid" and "Puppet Maker", in limestone, to "Alchemist's Still Life"  and "Watering Hole Of The Painted
Dragon", in oil on canvas. He has mastered the craft of painting and sculpture, and his themes are
simultaneously weighty and lighthearted.
Contemporary Veristic Surrealism     -     Michael S. Bell      -      Leonardo Vol. 17 1984
Morbidity has an erroneous connection with Surrealism, which Robinson debunks in his high flights of
imagination and human vision. Since 1940 a substantial number of historians have referred to an essential
morbidity in Surrealism. Although there are instances of morbidity, this is by no means common ground for
the surrealist movement. Artist Guy Robinson comes closer to the truth: "When one has made the creative
nature of being an open priority of life then the whole world becomes the studio, and all perceptions and
experiences are potential springboards. In this involvement one must take an inner vow not to sacrifice
honesty for comfort. This is at times difficult, painful, or ecstatic. Seeking wholeness, one becomes aware,
more than ever, of the present experience of paradox."                                                                                 
Living as outcasts from mainstream art circles, contemporary surrealist artists like Robinson must stipulate to
themselves what they are doing in case nobody else is listening. Robinson speaks for many others who
regard the universe as subject matter, who are willing to suffer the true pain of rejection, who feel that they
must remain faithful to their visions, and who seek to paint what they perceive with concern rather than
disregard for their audience.
                                                                          
                                                            
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
as well.
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
perspectives.
"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
together.
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,
Beware:
Each thin metal tube
of possibility
leaks visions.
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,
bent,
vacated at the bottom
curled in on itself,
emptily.

Some of the Alizarin Crimson
escapes like visible ammonia.
Drifting upwards
in a red cloud,
it crystallizes.
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,
Once out,
like rabbits or doves, the images
fly away from the magician
and never
return.                                                                                                
     K. Winfield Teel  7-10-86
A note from collector James Riggs to the artist...

My sister-in-law...after oohing and aahing...said, "What does
it mean?" I thought of, "It is what it is" but that was no
fun..."It's about the crack in the cosmic egg, about the fact
that nothing can be contained...the suitcase is spilling its
contents, the flower pot is missing part of its perimeter and
the earth is no longer contained...the yolk of the egg is
spilling upwards...and nothing exists which cannot be
penetrated, including the heart. It is about the strength each
human being has to understand existence, if they only get on
the easily accessible flying carpet of the mind/brain and take
a good look at the universe. And of course the painting has
it's own needs, and the only answer to a need (as it can not
be contained) is to fulfill it...so there are shapes and colors
which cry out for other shapes and colors to co-exist...and do
you want me to write the notes for your next show? amore et
bacci...Jim



You just did. Thanks,
                       Guy
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
people
who have seen too much to smile
or too much not to.
I did not choose the people I drew
in Paris.
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,
costumed them.

I tried to draw the small things
that make a soul fit
into a body.
Notes for "Paris Drawings"
Trinity Gallery, Atlanta, 1991
Guy Robinson
36" x 26"   '04