Featured Artist: Robert Farber

Artist Statement
In my current work, I attempt to communicate the artist’s source of inspiration and fascination with the discovery and exploration of a “new” environment. The work is a response to the unique and mysterious encounter that occurs between person and place. The journey is often a confusing and complicated reflection of the artist’s own search to find his bearings in the labyrinth of the contemporary world.

Hibiscus St. Studio, 2011

1. What sort of art critic are you? Or, asked differently, who is your favorite art critic?
I suppose that I love to hate Jerry Saltz. He is such the little “taste maker”.

2. What role does history play in your work?
History has informed my work in many ways I source inspiration from a variety of sources that include explorers like Lewis and Clark and mannerist painters like Pontormo.

Captian Tom Chums For Museum Snook, 2011

3. Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?
I would not consider features in my work to be discomforting, but I do intentionally juxtapose disparate elements in attempt to create an implied narrative for the viewer.

4. What aspects of contemporary art would you change, if you could?
I suppose I would change the current aspect that implies your passe after age 25.

Conneaut Lake Park, Crown Jewel, 2011

5. How did you arrive at the structure of your work?
The Tuesday after 9/11/01, I was on my way to London and on to Florence to source inspiration for a new series of work..

The work continues to reflect a “sense of place” that can only be experienced through real-time travel, research and exploration. My current body of work sources inspiration and structure from a recent trip to China during the Spring of 2011. I was selected as one of two Sarasota artists to be a Cultural Ambassador to our sister city in located in Xiamen, China by the Sarasota Sister Cities Organization.

6. What does it mean to you to be an artist living and working in Sarasota, FL?
What it really means is that you must be comfortable living and working in a regional art community while exploring national exhibition opportunities.

Professional exhibition venues to exhibit work are scarce.

7. How do you see the societal role of the artist evolving?
Social networking, Twitter, Intelligent Phones and the net have changed the way we interact with each other on a global basis. Artists will continue to exploit, manipulate and examine the relevancy of new technology in relationship to their work.

Whats the cost?

Perhaps an understanding of materials and tactile processes that inform the work through physical manipulation and interaction.

8. How important do you think the discourse of contemporary art is?
Discourse keeps the critical dialogue vital and current. It has the ability to provide insights and layers of meaning for the audience that would otherwise be unattainable.

Two works created upon return from Xiamen, China 2011

9. One of the most complicated aspects of being an art maker is the “Life Work” balance: making important decisions on when to start and when to stop and where to separate things. Do you have any advice for other artists, based on your own methodology, on how to balance a life’s work?
I try and stay focused on the things that are most important; family, professional work and teaching, in that order. Its a delicate balance.

10. How important do you think authority is in contemporary art now?
I think being authentic trumps innovation and the “new”.

Work taken to Xiamen China for exhibition at Xiamen University, Fujian, China 2011
Work taken to Xiamen China for exhibition at Xiamen University, Fujian, China 2011

Website: http://rfarber.com/home.html