Robert Loughlin, "F***", Acrylic Painting on Metal Box, Signed
Robert Loughlin, acrylic painting on a vintage machinist's box, signed. The hard charging Brute is superimposed over the second letter (U) of the F-word. Initialed RL in lower left corner, on the letter F. Robert was a friend and I acquired the box from a mutual friend, shortly after his death in 2011. 1990s Loughlin biography by Stephen Neil Greengard: Robert Loughlin is a latter-day Vandal. He defiles worn out standards and in the process creates a new art (although he would probably protest the epithet ‘artist’ precisely because he refuses to be sighted, catalogued, described, defined. He ransacks antique stores, thrift shops, flea markets, galleries, estates, and emerges with some treasure or monstrosity as proof of his visit. He will paint anything: furniture, wood, metal, plastic, glass, textiles, nothing is sacred. And a good thing too, because paradoxically, what he destroys he improves. That is the essence of his art. Loughlin demonstrates this even on the surfaces of his own canvases, painting over paintings, applying new surfaces and partially removing them to reveal a multi-layered history. The richness of these exercises improves with time and reveal more of his basic iconography. Loughlin’s obsessions are: Modern design and freedom (not necessarily in that order.) These he wields daily. Hourly. And they are everywhere visible in his work. His figures are men, brutish to the point of pornography, but this veiled sexuality is merely a vehicle to escape the ugliness of the city. They are projections of his wildness, his ideal of freedom. They are heroic. Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. It may be the preservation of the world. Graffiti- now rather a bad word among art-thinking circles- still means, and one hopes always will mean a crude, vital drawing or inscription on stone, plaster or some other hard surface. It is a form of poetry; signals, not always liable to interpretation, of the same order as the Prehistoric cave painting or the strip of papyrus. They remind us.