I see his work as a sort of loose, maybe even sloppy, Matisse. Not that he would ever say that about himself, at least not that I have heard, but then again, how would I have heard?
But what I have seen, is pared down lines, patterns, and brush strokes that despite lack of detail and apparent precision, form fashionable women and style. Like Matisse.
Having survived the heyday of art directing at Conde’ Nast and Vogue, Donald Robertson has left the hustle of New York and opened up shop in LA, and when I say “opened” I mean his door is open (not right now though) and you can go say hello.
I went and said hello.
With his new work hanging, or laying, around and his young kids doing the same, Donald and I didn’t hatch a new collaboration or become best friends (I am open to both) but he did answer my question easily and helped me feel relaxed and welcomed.
Then he drew me a picture in my sketch book thereby increasing its value by approximately 2000%.
His studio is where Evett’s Model Shop once was (1636 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica) and he will let any fool off the street just walk right in and talk to him.
Matisse never did that.
I have described my mother as the most practical woman alive. She has never wasted her time with whining, complaining, or materialistic foolishness.I describe her that way because it is true. But do not get her wrong, despite having married a mountain man, she herself is an artist.
She does not bring up artist’s names or offer nasally critiques using words like philistine or vulgarian. She doesn’t try to critique anything at all really- that would be silly. She is not silly.
What she would do is be the valedictorian of her high school but not attend the graduation.While her husband spent time fly fishing on the Provo River she was volunteering as a docent in a museum.
This amuses me because docent is probably the most high-brow word she has ever used.
Legend has it that the only time she didn’t get an A in college was in pottery. And that was only because the professor refused to give an A to anyone who wasn’t a fine art major. Mom was in education. Because when you start college after having already had six children, going into education is practical.
But inside that practical person, that education major about to become an elementary school teacher, is and was my mom. My mom, the 18 year old who hopped on a ship to Europe so she could marry a soldier working as a linguist in Germany. The young woman who spent her honeymoon touring Europe visiting art museums and castle galleries. The young woman who when she chooses a car, picks a yellow convertible MG Roadster.
The woman, who once retired and living in one of the most rural places imaginable, builds a structure that on the outside looks like a one story Lincoln log wood shop, but on the inside, is a studio fashioned to look like you have stepped inside Mondrian’s “Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow”.