Friday, 23 January 2009

Robert Longo

Robert Longo was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Long Island. He had a childhood fascination with mass media: movies, television, magazines, and comic books, which continue to influence his art.

Longo became famous in the 1980s for his "Men in the Cities" series, which illustrated sharply dressed businessmen writhing in contorted emotion. Although he studied sculpture, drawing remained Longo's favorite form of self-expression. However, the sculptural influence pervades his drawing technique, as Longo's "portraits" have a distinctive chiseled line that seems to give the drawings a three-dimensional quality. Longo uses graphite like clay, molding it to create images like the writhing, dancing figures in his seminal "Men in the Cities" series.

Longo had major retrospective exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 1990, and a touring exhibition throughout Japan in 1995.
In the 1980s, Longo directed several music videos, including New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle", Megadeath's "Peace Sells..." and "The One I Love" by R.E.M.

Longo is responsible for the front cover of The Replacements' 1985 album Tim.

He also directed the cyberpunk movie Johnny Mnemonic, starring Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren and Takeshi Kitano, and a short film named Arena Brains. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Longo developed a number of performance art theatre pieces, such as "Marble Fog" and "Killing Angels", collaborating with Stuart Argabright and the guitarist Chuck Hammer.

He was the leader and guitarist of a musical act called Robert Longo's Menthol Wars, which performed punk experimental music in New York rock clubs in the late 1970s. During the same period, he also performed with Rhys Chatham in Chatham's Guitar Trio, producing a series of slowly fading slides entitled Pictures for Music", which was played behind the musicians.(Wikipedia)

(The sharks, charcoal on mounted paper, are part of his Perfect Gods series exposed in 2007.

The superheroes, C-prints mounted on museum board, are part of the Superheroes series exposed in 1998.)

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