“You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
Robert Downey’s practice mainly focuses on figurative painting and deals with the issues of social commentary and artist identity. His paintings open a painterly and conceptual dialogue between the dual role of subject and artist. The subject of the painting is always the author, the artist regardless of the sitter. models used are devises to portray the artists own feelings and emotions. The idea of painting the model, is not to capture their personal aura and display it on canvas but for the artist to see themselves and personal views reflected back at them. Being an artist in the modern era can be difficult especially for new artists. Everything you do has been done before, the weight of art history stands on you and the pressure to innovate is constant. It is therefore hard to create what you are interested in over what is considered new or contemporary. As student artists we all share similar fears and frustrations. Self-doubt can lead to one feeling foolish or another way to describe it is “feeling like a clown”. You can feel foolish when venturing into the unknown, but it would also be ignorant to not be open to new learning experiences.