Charlie Roberts, born 1983 in Kansas, USA, lives and works in Oslo, Norway, New York and Los Angeles.
Roberts is a polymath, a cultural magpie. His various endeavours cross-pollinate, building myths amongst themselves. Roberts' works borrow from art-historical and pop cultural sources. His cramped paintings display the perspectival complexity of ancient Egyptian and Byzantine painting. The contents are stacked one above the other, showing different views simultaneously. They bring to mind Hockney's early paintings and photo collages, cubism and comic books.
Roberts is fearless in his approach to subject, style and technique. The result is full of energy, determination and a unique expression which draws on the illusion of the good life and shows a fascination of hip-hop culture with Roberts' recognizable beautiful young sporty women, drawn in a style leading your thoughts to Matisse’s dancers. They work out with a smile while sweat trickles down them, play tennis with the racket, arms and legs sinuously morphing and entwining around each other. The subject matter, utterly contemporary, banal and everyday is at odds with the delicacy of the medium they are made in. Watercolour on paper, over a painted pink ground which unifies the overall image and brings harmonious tonal order to the chaotic scenarios. His wide-ranging practice also encompasses sculptures roughly carved from chunks of local trees and painted, sitting somewhere between tribal objects, folk art and pop-cultural figures.
Charlie Roberts is educated at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancover, Canada and Kansas University, USA.
Selected solo exhibitions include Windows, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, DK (2017). Laffy Taffy, Rod Bianco, Oslo, NO (2017). Juicy, Marlborough Contemporary, London, UK (2016). JUICY FRUIT, Kravets/Wehby, New York, NY, US (2015). Juicy XXL, David Risley Gallery (2015). SOFT LIFE/HARD NITE, Atomic Gallery, London, UK (2015). K. I. D. S., Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles (2014). Nattbad, Trafo Kunsthall, Oslo (2014). Hex, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, SE (2014). Kunsthal KAdE, Amsterfoort, NL (2010).
Selected group exhibitions include Build Your Own House, Dio Horia, Mikonos, GR (2017). Figure It Out, The Dot Project, London, UK (2016). Sadness is an Evil Gas Inside of Me, Galerie Koal, Berlin, DE (2015). I Love Painting 2, Angell Gallery, Vancouver, CA (2015). Art on Paper, RandallScottProjects, New York, NY, US (2015). This is our Music/This is our Art, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, DK (2014). People Staring, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, NY, US (2014). Time Waits for Us, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, SE (2013). Zagga Zow, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, CA (2012). The Incomplete Paris, Curated by Hubert Neumann, Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard, Paris, FR (2010).
His works are in the Boijmans Collection (NL) and the AkzoNobel Collection (NE).