IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE NAME ROBERT SANTORE YET, YOU’RE MISSING SOMETHING BIG.
When you are next to Robert Santore, it is obvious that you’re in the presence of an artist. Although Robert is a fifth-generation Texan, he was born in California and spent his impressionable years hopping from the U.K. back to California with his family. While drastic moves like that are bound to have an impact on any young child, Robert processed it all in an unusual way for someone his age: through art. His first piece was created when he was just 6 years old, and it was something so simple and brilliant that I would have believed him if he had told me it was painted yesterday.
Much like the prodigal son, Robert has recently returned to Texas with the intent to rediscover his roots, revamp his art, and hone his focus. Setting himself aside from other modern artists, Robert shows his artistry and creativity through multiple different mediums- sculpture, portraiture, landscape, and mixed media. Believe it or not, even greater subgroups can be found inside those varieties, such as watercolor, gauche, and egg tempera (which is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder medium, usually of glutinous material such as egg yolk). When talking to Robert about his different outlets, he explains his work as if the idea of a piece takes on a mind of its own- ultimately choosing the medium it wants to be made into- the sign and measure of a true creative.
Even after reviewing Robert’s work multiple times, I’m still rendered speechless by the daedal details that go into each and every one of his layered pieces. When I say layered, I mean it literally. Robert’s pieces are all interconnected in one way or another- the pieces are all like siblings, and each piece builds upon the last. The topics of his pieces possess such a range- Santore implements memories from his eclectic childhood and pairs it with the history and pop culture that was happening around him at the time.
Because his artwork carries out common themes and repeating shapes and colors, a Robert Santore original is easy to recognize. I have found that through this choice, Robert has done a great favor to the viewer: He has made them feel as if they are intimately familiar with his work just by repeating several shapes throughout several different pieces. Once the viewer recognizes and processes the similarities, they are bound to look for them again in his work and feel a sense of warmth and closeness to the art itself.
Robert Santore currently has several works on display at Houston’s own Jack Rabbit gallery and is going to be in exhibitions in New York and California. You can find collections of his work on his website at http://art.robertsantore.com/large-scale/.