Robert Longo

September 5, 2012

The comic books, movies, magazines, and television of his childhood heavily influence American artist Robert Longo. Since the 1970s, Longo has produced works in a staggering array of mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, film, music, and serigraphy. He first gained major attention with his “Man in the Cities” drawings, large black and white images of sharply dressed men and women desperately flailing and falling backwards. Before the success of these drawings, Longo attended the Buffalo State College where he opened an underground art gallery that later became the Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. He moved to New York to join the underground art scene and play guitar in his band, Robert Longo’s Menthol Wars. After exhibiting the “Men in the Cities” drawings at New York galleries and museums, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, he earned a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989. In addition to producing sculptures, combines, and more drawings, throughout the 1980s and 90s, Longo directed New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and R.E.M.’s “The One I Love,” as well as the 1995 cyber-punk film Johnny Mnemonic. His work is rife with apocalyptic images – crashing waves, mushroom clouds, sharks, and revolvers – yet in each piece the viewer is “in a world full of radiance and hope and transcendence.” Most recently, the Musee D’Art Moderne et D’Art Contemporain in Nice, France and the Museuo Berardo in Lisbon, Portugal held a major retrospective of his work from 1980-2009.
Galloway, David. “Provocative Visions of Apocalypse.” The New York Times, 25 Sept. 2009. Web. 3 Sept. 2012.


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