Robert Szot (born 1976 in Morristown New Jersey) is entirely self-taught and has spent the past 20 years as a working artist in New York City. He has exhibited his work in many galleries across the United States from New York to Los Angeles and Texas.How did you get into art?
Art, and the idea of becoming an artist, didn’t come into focus for me until my early 20’s. I never studied art in school and am entirely self-taught. I think my real first connection to art occurred when I saw the work of Egon Schiele for the first time during a trip to Rome. I was fascinated by Schiele’s seemingly simple use of line and color and was quite surprised by how it affected me.
How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?
I would describe it as reactionary. I respond to the moment in my painting and never pre-plan or conceptualize what a finished work will look like. Planning takes the spontaneous nature out of the equation and ruins surprise, and I love those aspects of my work. It’s not indecision, mind you, it is intense concentration and immediate action. This practice helps connect my individuality more closely to the work I produce and it is this display of self that makes my work special. Well, special to me at least.How do you go about developing your work?
I embrace change and use chaos as a way to convey movement and velocity. I approach my paintings without preconceived notions or strict plans – I follow the work where it takes me, choosing to let color and composition inform me as opposed to bringing information to the work. There is obvious evidence of searching combined with a willingness to destabilize, utilizing risk and chaos to reach sometimes elusive conclusions. I choose colors intuitively, ignoring traditional tenets of color theory and more academic approaches to making art – the result is work that surprises, energizes, and transcends. Compositions come together to form images both harmonious and intrinsically moving, rewarding the viewer with a story that unfolds slowly in more personal and lasting ways. Combining variety with clear authorship - my goal is one of deep storytelling through communication in a visual language shared commonly among us.Who or what influences you?
I am a believer in the notion that consistent work produces consistent work. I am not directly influenced by anything - not consciously, anyway. You must try to work everyday, even if you don’t feel particularly excited by the idea. The continuation of the dialogue between you and what you create is the only way to effectively produce personal and lasting images that speak about you directly. This is the way all great art is made.
What are you planning to do next?
I’ve only recently begun to actively participate in my local art community. I have had the pleasure to connect with other artists in Los Angeles and New York City through small painting workshops I have been hosting in my studio. It has been such a new experience for me and I am hoping to continue to deepen those relationships - I am surprised by how much I have learned from them already.
In terms of my personal work I am preparing for an exhibition in Korea next year - it will be my first international solo and I am very excited about it.Instagram