You know, I’m finding it really hard to decide why Samuel Robertson’s art interests me. It’s not my thing, it’s not my style, and yet for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to pass it by. When I browse his work I’m torn between hating and liking his illustrations without understanding what it is that irks me about it. If I had to describe the feeling, it would be like looking in a mirror and realising that your eyes are upside-down.
I’m stuck at a confusing crossroad leading to several places I don’t even want to be.
And then it struck me. That’s exactly what he was going for.
In his own words, “I study people and our relationships to appetite, commodities, technology, animals, and each other … drawing inspiration from corners of our culture that seem representative or vaguely symbolic of something larger about people and our appetite as a society.”
There’s always a special place in my heart for people who set out to create something through art and actually reach that destination, and Robertson has done exactly that. That awkward, uncomfortable feeling I get when I look at his work? It’s because I can relate to it. I’ve never played the trumpet while standing over a vacuum cleaner, but fuck if it doesn’t resonate with me in some grotesque, perfect kind of way.
I think that’s a wonderful thing about art. You don’t have to like it to appreciate it. It doesn’t have to be pretty to be enjoyable. The best kind of art is art that makes you feel, makes you wonder, and Robertson has done just that.
Robertson is currently working on illustrating the Old Testament of the King James’ bible, a work which he says will be complete on Christmas day of 2016. That’s an oddly specific date, but I’m not going to oppress his schedule. Perhaps we’ll check in on him then and see how it goes.
Meanwhile you can follow his progress at his site: http://www.misterrobertson.com/