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R.V. - Robin Van Arsdol Urban Art

Urban Artist Robin Van Arsdaol - R.V.Urban Artist Robin Van Arsdaol - R.V.From the graffitied walls of Soho, NY to the fashionable streets of Milan, Italy, Robin Van Arsdol (R.V.) is well known throughout the art world. His symbolic imagery reveals an inner passion to share his fears, thoughts and hope for humanity. Using naive silhouette images, R.V. produces works of art that express social commentary. 

In the late 1970's and early '80's, the "Graffiti Movement" began to emerge. R.V. found this a perfect vehicle to express his aggressive and opinionated style. The active streets of New York City sparked this desire to express himself with bold and combative murals in creating public art. 

Using pure defiance, driven by his need to be seen, R.V. created over 5,000 public murals on the streets of New York City over a six year period (1982 -1987). His prolific and symbolic images established him as a major player in the Street Art Movement. 

The Street Art Movement was a gut level response to an age of indifference. Inspired by a public mesmerized by the deafening roar of our capitalistic society, with art becoming just another commodity to be profited from, artists on the street responded with aggressive actions vying for attention. 

Of the major players in this movement, including Keith Haring and Richard Hamilton, R.V. stood alone in his expression of the "male psyche" exposing our dangerously driven society. The majority of his murals were designed to provoke the viewer, to remind us of man's most heinous creations of war, a voice of reason against these actions.

R.V.'s work is intended to use our fear of nuclear holocaust to awaken us to the deep-set problems facing all mankind. Nuclear proliferation is the ultimate expression of man's inability to move forward without careful consideration of the ramifications of his actions. 

At the heart of R.V.'s work is his unabashed championing of all that is male, good and bad. He boldly steps into the public light to reveal the simple truths that lie deep in the psyche of all men. His art embraces the male ego. 

"Be aggressive," R.V. says, " but focus our strength positively and with dignity. Be defensive of our property, our possessions and our family, yet love thy neighbor. Be hardheaded but choose your stance with values, seeking the guidance of our elders. Play our war games, but choose our fights wisely and with extreme prejudice." 

Written by David McKnight

The Corvettes

RV first started doing paintings and drawings of the 1980 corvette in 1980, after buying a black with red interior corvette. "It was like a dream come true. I had always wanted a corvette even long before I was of driving age. It was sleek and fast - like a shark in the water". RV had first thought about painting sunglasses on a yellow 'vette but when he bought, re-bought, a red 'vette in January of 1997 he created a design of one hundred black and yellow corvettes.

Screaming Man by R.V. - Robin Van ArsdolScreaming Man by R.V. - Robin Van Arsdol The Screeming Man
"I love intuitiveness when I work, to react to an action and to let things happen. I once found several cabinet doors in the trash. Since I like painting on odd surfaces, I moved them to my studio. As I began painting a nuclear landscape on one the doors, there seemed to be a hidden image in the forground. With a quick motion, I traced the image of 'Screaming Man', hair extended and mouth open. The rest is history." 
Robin VanArsdol, 1998