Several years ago, while visiting Ostia Antica, I was struck by the black and white mosaic floors that lined the roads of the ancient Etruscan harbor city. It is now an archaeological site that is a short train ride from Rome.
I discovered this wonderful world on a day trip with several other artists, scholars and writers. This was during my first winter as a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2003.
During my stay at the Academy, my primary focus was to make small paper collages with cut and inlaid paper combining Italian magazines, tourist souvenir prints, street art and other print media.
Since then, I have continued to use cut paper collage, painting and photography as part of my studio practice. New pieces are created by deconstructing and rearranging elements using different methods to form a new image or object, sometimes with multiple networks. I start by cutting, scanning, gluing, painting and layering several different paper elements. The finished form can be quite simple while also containing various layers of fragmented imagery.
My source materials include adult magazines, movie posters, graffiti, and cartoons, as well as my own previously printed images from earlier bodies of work.
A great friend and artist, Jane Dickson, commented on my work during a studio visit. She observed and appreciated how much of my work "birthed" new bodies of work. That observation still holds true to this day as my most recent series, "MindFunk," was created from a previous group titled "Chasing Dragons." That series comprised cut paper collages, works on paper and large scale paper cuts all based on traditional Chinese handicrafts. I saved all the leftover bits and pieces of paper from that series, not really focusing on the fact that it might spawn a new body of work.
"MindFunk" is a body of work consisting of small collages, color pencil studies and paintings that range in scale from 4" x 4" to as large as 87" x 87".
MindFunk Wall Installation is a single piece made from, currently, 33 separately-shaped painted fragments. The most recent installation was at the Michael Warren Contemporary where it lived on a 10' x 20' wall. The piece, as well as this series, will continue to grow, morph and expand as new pieces, elements and fragments are made and added.
Robert Brinker is a mixed media artist whose primarily focus is painting and cut paper collage. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2003 and 2004 he was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Brinker's works can be found in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Lavazza Coffee, Turin, Italy; New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Progressive Insurance, Cleveland; The British Library, London; The New York Public Library, New York; Altria Group Inc., New York; Henry Schein Inc., International Headquarters, Melville; Philip Morris Companies Inc., New York, and in numerous established private collections. Robert Brinker currently lives and works in Aspen, Colorado. His work is represented by Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver, Colorado.