Frank D. Robinson Jr. is a modern day griot, telling stories of our migration through life via his art. He painstakingly documents our journeys through life, love and struggle in his haunting, surreal work. Robinson demonstrates a strong sense of place in his work- whether a place in time, physical location or metaphorical place. With this focus on location, Robinson forces us to examine what is truly home and the different routes we take to arrive there. Each piece is a meditation on history, love and struggle. Look closely- what you find in his work is what you find in life. Robinson transforms the lowliest of objects-our invisibles- soda can tabs, broken mirrors, buttons, tokens, lost jewelry- and elevates them to urban artifacts. By elevating the everyday object, Robinson makes art that is both accessible and intricate. Robinson’s art defies the confines of staid canvases, showing up on bottles, guitars, rocking chairs or boards- wherever the spirit of the art demands. Robinson weaves together a vibrant tapestry of the varied expression of African American culture. His work reflects the many faces of the people of the African Diaspora. Even images designed to hurt such as the mammy or gold-toothed thug are subverted into images to be admired for their beauty and strength.
A native of Memphis, TN, Robinson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in 1993, 1998 earned a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing and a subsequent MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Robinson’s work has been exhibited at Nike, Schering Plough, Nippon Steel and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Some of his most recent showings have been at the Clarksville Museum (Clarksville, TN), Smith-Robertson Gallery (Jackson, MS), Dorothy Jean Gallery (Memphis, TN), 2nd coming Show (Madison, WI), University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital (Permanent Collection, 2000), Folk Art Show at Vertigo Studios (Memphis, TN 2000), Wallspace (Chicago, IL 2000) and ARC Gallery (Best of Show Award, Chicago, IL 2000).
Robinson’s steady gaze looks within the soul of a people and documents it with an amazing wit and stunning clarity. Robinson delves deeply into the spirit of a people and pulls out the good, bad, beautiful and ugly and displays it in vibrant, brilliant color. Objects, images and exposition collide in works that reach out and grab the viewer in an act of communion.
Bear witness to the migration in art and life- from birth to death, from self-doubt to self-discovery and from love to loss- that are the powerful, potent, spiritual works of Frank D. Robinson, Jr.
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One of the greater Artist in the world and one of the more Prolific i’ve met .. his work ethic is historic and concepts unmatched” +++IwillNOTbeMICROmanaged+itWON’tHAPPen+++”