The paintings of Casey Roberts transport me into the wilderness, though beautiful this wilderness has undertones of sadness and death. The moody color palette of blues flecked with moments of blood red paired with striking imagery such as bleeding trees and foreboding text begins to set a gloomy scene; however, depictions of flowers and Robert’s quirky illustrative style prevents these paintings from becoming entirely sinister. The dark woodsy scenes are very reminiscent of Lars von Trier’s hauntingly beautiful film Antichrist. Similarly to Antichrist, I experience conflicting feelings of joy and sorrow while viewing Robert’s paintings; attracted to their surface beauty, but ultimately left feeling disconcerted. This feeling seems to emulate our contradictory relationship as humans with nature as well; as we simultaneously cultivate and kill it.
Casey Roberts, an Illinois based artist was recently exhibited this past summer at the Elmhurst Art Museum. His innovative techniques using cyanotype and everyday household items such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach give Robert’s painting an unusual as well as strikingly beautiful appearance.
that’s not the way to make friends, cyanotype drawing w/enamel and collage, 30 x 30in, 2010
learning to do whatever I want because the energy is real, cyanotype drawing w/gouache, 60 x 60in, 2012
garden hill, cyanotype drawing, 8.75 x 12.75in, 2011
totally free now, cyanotype drawing w/ gouache, 55 x 60in, 2011
tiny tidal wave 3, cyanotype drawing, 2010
cannonball (a bigger splash), cyanotype drawing w/gouache and collage, 42 x 52in, 2012
naive occult, cyanotype drawing w/collage, 8.75 x 12.75in, 2011
steady work (the charm offensive), cyanotype drawing w/collage, 69 x 60in, 2008
kill kill kill kill 1, cyanotype drawing, 42 x 42in, 2008
future forest (sick and sorry), cyanotype drawing w/gouache, 39 x 42in, 2010
living in a neighborhood of murders, cyanotype drawing w/ gouache, 30 x 30in, 2010
moonbeam, cyanotype drawing w/ enamel and collage, 30 x 30in, 2012