Robert Anthony Ford
Baghdad Magic Show, 2011, gouache on stretched paper, 19×27″
The Hypnotic State of Feeling Good, 2011, gouache on stretched paper, 30×21.5″
The Magic Trick, 2011, oil on canvas, 37×47″
Magic Dancer, 2011, cold cast copper metal resin, 16.5×14″
Serpent’s Eye, 2011, limited edition print, 16.54×23.39″
Pray to Thy God, 2006, watercolour, 8.27 x 11.69″
Stay Ignorant, 2007, limited edition print, 1 metre square
Big Magic is Watching You, 2011, mixed media construction, 21.5″ in diameter
Born London 1947. At age12 attended ‘Junior Artschool’ where half the academic week was allocated to ‘art’, drawing, painting, ceramics, typography and calligraphy. Three years later attended Sutton School of Art, completed a 4 year course, 2 years foundation and 2 years illustration and graphic design. 1972 began a freelance commercial art career, working for most of the top London Advertising Agencies. After successfully running a commercial art studio from 1983 to 1995, went back to freelancing, consultancy and began to paint seriously. 2002 moved to Portugal, joined art group ‘Blank Canvas’, exhibited widely throughout that country. 2007 returned to acedemic studies at The University of the Arts London. Graduated with a Master of Arts, (Fine Arts, Printmaking) in 2009. Continues to experiment and exhibit frequently in mixed shows.
My art practice is ‘polemic narrative and social comment driven’, meaning an attempt to explore issues that affect and impact on human society. In my opinion the cultural output of any society, (the arts), is a reflection of its morality and will be judged on the basis that it professes to be the very lifeblood and essence of its particular human collective. The artist is in some ways is a ‘cultural worker’ tasked with celebrating or, by questioning, seeking to improve our social behaviours and beliefs and attempting to influence the viewer and the wider audience, to think about these things. (e.g. Is there a better way for us to exist, interact with each other and organise ourselves?) In the case of my art practice, I seek to both entertain and enthrall whilst at the same time celebrating, asking questions or even condemning. So, the subject matter is the first point of call for creating my art, of course the aesthetic appearance is important but is I believe, in the end purely a transporter for the meaning contained within each piece. My output is not restricted to just painting or indeed just to static work, I explore all modes of output. I try to introduce humour in an effort to convey a more serious intent. However for me to produce pretty pictures that solely demonstrate artistic ability or to find an interest in the surface texture is an insufficient pursuit, one that would simply state that the artist was no more than a craft person, a clever one but still a producer of mere commodity all the same. In my opinion an artist should attempt to be much more than an artisan, maybe to be the very conscience of his/her society. I hope that you enjoy viewing this work and also enjoy the narratives and the intent that resides,sometimes hidden, within these pieces.
Robert Ford’s next exhibition ‘Magician’ is at the Market Hall, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, England from April 2nd until April 7th, 2011.