Robert Longo is an amazing artist from New York.

When I was studying art at school I accidentally stumbled across his work. It’s not that he was hard to find, but in those pre-internet days research was obviously only as broad as your available resources. Robert Longo wasn’t really in the Pop Art, Renaissance, Impressionist spectrum offered by the school.

I knew when I found Robert Longo I was on to something. His charcoal drawing series Men in the Cities (1979-83) set me off. His work is one of those steps of meaning that defines who you are today. In hindsight, what he did for me was institute and provide a foundation for my own aesthetic.

(From there it was New York where, in series of more fortuitous innocent steps, I discovered Gordan Matta Clark and his penchant for carefully destroying buildings. But that’s for another time.)

Robert Longo was something else. I didn’t know that his contorted images of businessmen and women were a “comment on contemporary afflictions and anxieties”. I just knew they looked awesome, learning later that they stood at nearly two and a half metres tall, their shear scale only further impressing me.

So this is not so much an art review or even a book review (Robert Longo’s prolific life as a painter, sculptor and filmmaker is now available in the Skira Rizzoli published monograph) but a short memoir and reminiscence of the things we often forget that make us who we are today.

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Check out his new self titled tome (written by Caroline Smulders and Gilbert Perlein) at Metropolis Bookshop or where good books are sold.