As an artist, my goal is to include or capture the entire audiences attention. I want people to relate without the boundaries of stereotypes, race, sex or culture. The American culture is consistently changing, growing and expanding. I believe in the melting pot, and therefore American Art should reflect that. By breaking the images down, simplifying shape, color and form, I believe you can capture a larger audience. At the same time Im acknowledging my audience, I paint for myself. I choose subject matters that influence me in a positive way, or I find something positive about them.
An artist should take risks at different classic styles (like Realism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Pop, etc.) creating your own unique personal style. Techniques, mediums, subject matters and color schemes, are all very important too. Progress and advancement is vital for any artist and art movement, and without taking risks, you sell yourself short and limit your audience. You become too comfortable, you paint the same painting over and over again, because you know some people will like it.
I also believe the paintings should sell themselves. The viewer should admire the painting without someone verbally telling the viewer why she/he likes it. The artist failed at what they are trying to communicate or express, if the viewer is confused or uninterested.
I like controversy. It creates an environment where youre forced to open your mind and see another perspective. But I dont believe you should be controversial for the sole reason of success. Im not a shock artist. As a painter, I believe controversy should be used appropriately, carefully, strategically and with sympathy. A painters responsibility is to express an idea, a thought or belief, not to put down someone because they believe something different. I want to influence people by showing my perspective of the situation, with a gentle approach, or a more conservative path of controversy.
Painting to me is finding a visible solution to an idea you are trying to express. By studying the subject matter to the best of your ability, including experience, and using your own developed style and creative talent, a painter can be a master of communication. Without barriers, like language, a visual artist can create diverse, original images admired or hated by all.
I often paint pieces about humanity involving love, humor, politics, fame, sports and music. Music is very important to me, my eclectic influences adds character to my paintings. Thru lyrical content and different styles of music, you can begin to understand different cultures, or people, and the struggles they might have or have overcome. Music has the power to bring people together. I also listen to music to motivate me when I paint. It provides a positive energy, and a comfortable atmosphere.
In conclusion, I paint because I want to paint, because I need to paint, to release the inspiration within me, and the anger that haunts me. Painting is my vessel for expressing my ideas, values, beliefs and love for humanity. I want to share my paintings with as many people as possible and let them into the creative world of Robert Erb.
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