Artist's Statement: Paul Robinson on new show Redacted at Cork Street

By Ben Miller | 04 April 2013

Artist's Statement: Paul Robinson on his new exhibition, Redacted...

A photo of an artist standing against a wall of artworks
“As much as I love photography, over the years I’ve found myself drawn more and more to painters as well as photographers as my inspiration.

The incredible works of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Guy Bordin, which inspired me to be a photographer in the first place, were now joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg, Francis Bacon, Otto Dix and Adrian Ghenie, to name a few.

For the most part, in its traditional form, photography was no longer sustaining me creatively.

Over time, the clear sharpness I used to strive for in a single image was replaced by a far more abstract, layered and sometimes blurred image.

I was constantly trying to push the medium and incorporate others. I began to explore different processes and ways to layer several images without turning to digital manipulation such as Photoshop.

In my series, In Camera, I used a very structured technique of multiple exposures on film.

In my next series, Transparent, I came out of the camera and layered by hand individual transparencies on top of each other, reshooting them each time I added a layer.

My technique Redacted has become a form of editing in which multiple images, text and other media that I have created are combined and altered to make them into a single work.

I feel I’ve pushed the Transparent process even further by alternating between front lighting and back lighting the images each time they are reshot.

The incorporation of text is more prevalent in this series as well. I’ve always been fascinated not only by the lyrics of favorite songs or familiar lines of great poetry, but also by the visual esthetics of the words themselves completely separate of their meaning. I often intertwine my own poetry or thoughts into an image.

As with the previous two series, the two things that inspired me the most were my favorite cities and favorite models.

The models were especially important in Redacted, as it is more heavily portrait driven than the other two series.

99% of the models are very close friends that I have worked with extensively over the years, which for me is essential to conveying the message or story that I am trying to tell.

The human element in each image, I would say, is the driving force. That being said, without my love for travel and cities, none of the images in Redacted, Transparent or In Camera would exist.

I have always been fascinated by other lands. Los Angeles is and always has been my home, but I feel like there are pieces of myself scattered all over the world, in any city I have spent time in.

Better yet, I feel that pieces of those cities make up the man I am today. The yearning to be in many places at once is always present. I have found a way to make that possible in my work by layering many of my favorite places on one image.

I must say that Redacted, for me, has been the most fulfilling and satisfying series I’ve created to date.

I feel that all the elements I have repeatedly attempted to intertwine have finally connected harmoniously. And that’s a fantastic feeling."

More pictures:

A photo of an abstract painting of a dark red female figure against yellow and green
When Things Were, London / Puerto Vallarta (2012)© Paul Robinson
An image of an abstract turquoise painting of a male face overlaid with small black text
What I See, Los Angeles (2012)© Paul Robinson
An image of a bright abstract painting of various female figures in a tropical swimming pool
Fun in the Sun, Palm Springs, CA (2012)© Paul Robinson
An image of an abstract black and red painting of a human figure against a backdrop
Calm Before, Los Angeles / Beirut (2012)© Paul Robinson
An image of an abstract painting of half a male face in black, light blue and turquoise
All Mixed Up, LA (2013)© Paul Robinson
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