Robert Longo

Robert Longo is an artist, filmmaker and photographer who lives and works in New York. Longo seeks to find the “truth” within an image, encouraging audiences to look past surface appearance. The artist rose to fame in the 1980’s for his Men in Cities collection, a series of about 60 photorealistic drawings of well-dressed figures lurching and collapsing onto the pavement.

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We love how Longo’s work seeks to give dimension to a flat surface, with his hyper detailed technique blurring the line between the real and fake. Longo was the leading voice of the “Pictures Generation”, a movement that heavily criticised the effects of capitalism and the sensationalist media response to war and violence.

Longo was heavily involved in political organisation and protests during his youth in the 1970s. After witnessing a press photo of his deceased former classmate as a result of political unrest, Longo’s relationship to media images was forever changed. This photo had a substantial influence on his career. After studying art history in Florence, Longo became an art student at the State University College in Buffalo, where he graduated in 1975. Whilst studying, he co-founded the exhibition space Hallwalls. Longo would organise exhibitions with artists such as Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Richard Serra, and these relationships became vital to his own artistic development. Longo has had many retrospectives held in his honour from galleries such as the Museum of Contemporary art, Chicago in 1990, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989. His work is also kept in the collection of major galleries like the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

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