Being a Short Diversion on the Art of Rob Cox

Born in 1957 in Stoneham, MA, Cox received his B.F.A. in Painting and Art History from the Massachusetts College of Art. In 1990, he moved to San Francisco and continued his studies at the University of California Extension, Berkeley.

Rob Cox paints the urban landscape as well as figures and everyday objects. He believes that painting is about paint. "It's about the application of colors and pigment to the surface. I want the viewer to see the process of painting. The scumbled brush strokes and lumps of paint are as integral to the work as the illusion of a roadway in the distance."

Rob’s work is a Pop style with muddy underpinnings. It germinates in the works of Paul Cezanne, David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. Representational painting is a foundation to push images beyond their literal explanation and then pull back into the object to create a restrained tension of something slightly off kilter. He sees the thing as new, somehow more precious than the original.

About how his work is always evolving:

“When working I have an idea, a tenuous notion about what will transpire on the canvas. As the work progresses, the piece becomes something on its own. A dialog begins between my hand and what happens on the canvas.

“Part of what I love about the medium of paint is the mixing of colors. The process of painting becomes alchemy. Piling on the paint, a gesturing, flourishing brush stroke against smooth surfaces, bright grays and dull reds and a patchwork of passages that create context for the images. And I oscillate between the theoretical and physical activity of painting. I struggle constantly not only with what to paint, but how to paint.”

Strongly influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, Elmer Bischoff and Park, he continues the Northern California figurative tradition. Paint is applied impasto with aggressive strokes, in broad swaths. The objective is to describe and define form and shape using color.

Rob Cox's paintings have been exhibited at the George Krevsky Gallery in San Francisco and in exhibits in Tucson and Scottsdale, AZ. His work has been included in juried exhibits at the Center for Visual Art in Oakland, CA as well as the Makeready Press Gallery in Montclair, NJ.