Enter Sandi Calistro's Gallery

As an artist, bravery is part of the mental jewelry. This age-old virtue is the nails that bind the stretcher-boards together; it is the staples that stretch the canvas; it is what binds the oils to the canvas. Or, in Brian Robertson's case, it is everything: Bravery is composition. It is dignity. It is the content that he is choosing to present as what he calls, directed ambiguity. It is what holds the collages of paper to the Masonite board. In large part, it is what Brian Robertson's work is about.

And while Robertson may not tell you this much, this virtuous element is laced neatly into all of his paintings.

Still, if you are unable to find this element of courage painted on his boards, then you may just need to know that Brian Robertson has quit his day job. To paint.

Sure, taking a bold leap and changing the direction of your life requires some certain strength. But in the art world this strength is everything. It is the glue, nails and staples bleeding from the back of your hand. For while the entrepreneur opens a store front without any certainty as to what the market is going to dictate, the artist’s store front is on the chest. And here, the front door does not open into a clean and well-lit place – instead, this kind of door is the rib cage open wide. And everybody is peering inside.

A New Mexico native and heavily influenced by the strong work ethic and stylings of graffiti and street art, Brian Robertson is not afraid to let his influences and life experience ring-out in his work. Even now, several years removed from his home state, the earthy New Mexico aesthetic can still be felt in his often gritty pieces.

Leaving behind his 9-to-5 job, Robertson is boldly stepping-out on his own. With his own creed and only his stark attempt at honesty and refined talent to lead the way – Robertson is moving toward a new mode of dignity, and a new way of looking at himself as a professional. Having afforded himself the time and space to spend some deliberate and protracted time working on his craft, Robertson is currently pacing himself for a strong body of new work, rich in content and craft.

This new body of work, only now beginning to take rigid shape, is dense with meaning as Robertson has found a method in creating new content. With his near-past serving as a springboard, he has found an interest in juxtaposing imagery and meaning in a whirlwind of collage. Working on Masonite board and layering paper into an intricate weave, Robertson is creating a new wind with his notion of directed ambiguity – the notion that he has developed by placing competing images next to each other, thereby juxtaposing meaning and ideologies in a compelling way. And as any great artist in any medium strives for, Robertson is urging his audience to spend some quality time as meaning-makers.

Robertson's recipe for this new brand of directed ambiguity begins with his characters. Multifaceted in their stance, meaning can slide any which way. And for Robertson a correct meaning is not the aim. Pushing himself and pushing his audience is. In process, Robertson lets his initial conceptualization be carried by the winds of spontaneity and the rhythm of his work. As is his hope for the viewer – Robertson repeatedly finds himself being moved in new directions, not only as a painter, but as a man – both during and after he has completed a piece.

As with anybody, ideas concretize over time. And this is exactly what Robertson is interested in playing with – the holes in those cement walls that our individual histories erect over stormy time. He is interested in working with the initial, knee-jerk reaction to an idea or an image and attempting to bring to the surface what is hidden within that – both consciously and what can be worked-out over a period of time. Embedded in this is, again, the idea of the viewer taking an active role – just as one would on the city streets, standing against abrasive faces and ambitions.

And Robertson is succeeding, not only in his aim, but in his mission – to work as an artist, sans a 9-to-5. His skill is obvious. Coupled with his push to cultivate his skill sets even more, Robertson's upcoming work should exhibit as any other strong fine art attraction. Afterall this is part of the battle, coming from the place of influence that he has – and its transfer onto his boards – for the fine art community, graffiti and street art is not what weaves its way into museums. But if Robertson has his way and keeps pulling meaning from the world around him as he been so diligently doing – work akin to his, which couples a strong street aesthetic with a fine art bent, should twist that traditional conception of museum-quality art.

A member of the Scattered Arts Collective, Robertson is pushing for an element of accessibility, both in his work and the venues afforded the artists around him. Afterall, in the end it is merely about the language of art – that rich, unspoken language that is able to combat and express those subtleties which written and verbal communication fails to provide.

Brian Robertson is a thinking man. And his work relays this notion in a humanistic manner, of a man trying to be honest, clear and strong about his intentions and modes of communication.

Keep up with Brian's evolution, here: www.robertsonartworks.com.