Born and raised in Kansas, artist Charlie Roberts later relocated to Oslo after studying at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. Working between various mediums, and different modes within those mediums, he often switches between wood carving, ceramics, painting on canvas and watercolour on paper, and between monochromatic drawing, relief sculpture, flat cartoonish figuration, and a more fleshed out and shaded figuration.
The result is a diverse and dynamic oeuvre that draws on pop cultural references and art history. Aesthetically, the work often boasts a diluted appearance, with figures painted almost spectrally. Shades of blue and green dominate his palette and many of his pieces, creating a visual thread throughout the different series that sit softly alongside a myriad of other similarly washed-out colours.
Speaking on the progression and development of his practice, Charlie says that it was actually never mapped out. “I usually become interested first in a certain technique and then splash around in those waters for a bit until I land on some loose subject, and then I usually have a year or two until it becomes too predictable and boring and I stumble onto the next thing,” he explains.
Equally, the subject matter in his work is ever-changing, with the only tangible link between them being the things that Charlie is interested in: wildlife, street-fighting, sports, screenplays and Raymond Chandler, sporty girls, rap artists, women and so on. “Right now I am working on a show about modern finance titled Cosmic Hedge for Galleri Golsa in Oslo,” he says.
Cosmic Hedge will be open from 3 May – 7 June.
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