Charlie Roberts lives and works somewhere in the forest outside of Oslo, Norway. Back in 2011 he made a name for himself in the United States by creating mesmerizing, sexually charged and chaotic works, featuring hundreds of tiny characters, arranged into images of Byzantine complexity. In 2012, Vice writer Milene Larsson said Roberts’ work “looks like the mindstream of a comics-obsessed tween with a Ritalin prescription.”
Roberts’ latest series Halcyon Daze, which opened last Friday at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist’s Fifth solo show, is a strong departure from his past work. The images are astonishing, peaceful even. I’m particularly drawn to the image “Wet Lite,” a figurative work featuring two characters lounging in a bathroom and framed by hypnotic black and white tile. I’m not one for artspeak, but the image is rad.
Born in 1984 in Hutchinson, Kansas, Roberts attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Canada, and has exhibited internationally at Galerie Magnus Karlsson in Stockholm, David Risley Gallery in Copenhagen, and Vous Etes Ici in Amsterdam.
“Charlie Roberts’ work takes us into the mind-stream of a manic, obsessive and eclectic collector of contemporary pop culture and art history,” according to Richard Heller Gallery. “Everything is sampled and laid out without hierarchical order and judgements. Roberts uses a wide range of materials and masters a furious force as well as a sensitive subtleness. Abstract patterns, flowing colors and a primitive brutality alongside tender lines, seductive realism and psychedelic poetry.”
Richard Heller Gallery opened Halcyon Daze, a series of gouache on paper works by Charlie Roberts on January. It will be on view through February 13 at their Santa Monica location.
“Halcyon Daze” by Charlie Roberts at Richard Heller Gallery – All images courtesy