Find a physical comfort. Look at your fingers, your toes. Count them; order them in any kind of obscure way possible. Now, sprawl out on a mattress; loosen your limbs. Try; if possible, to feel your extremities stretch and curl around you like the smoke of a cigarette. Perhaps most people associate such body-bending images with the effects psychoactive drugs can produce, but artist Charlie Roberts offers a similar visual world through the pieces he dreamily creates. Originally from the United States, Charlie Roberts studied in Canada and currently resides in Norway, and has been unleashing his unique blend of pop-culture, day-in-the-live-of-an-angsty-adolescent work to the world of art and social media (you can follow him on Instagram at @colonelcatfish) throughout the years surrounding his relocations. Roberts’ earlier work presents meticulous rows of animals, human heads, tombstones, sneakers, needles and everything in between. These early paintings present a dizzying attention to an obscure detail that Roberts seems to have perfected. Following this artistic phase, Charlie Roberts began to create scenes of contorted bodies, lying loosely and oftentimes intertwined with one another. These pieces explore themes such as lazily smoking joints, drinking beers, the absent-mindedness that accompanies our technological age and the seemingly elastic sensation of love when you’re young, high and care free. Venturing through Charlie Roberts’ repertoire is quite a jarring experience, but one that is remarkably exhilarating in the duality of his work. More recently, Roberts has expanded his talents to the art of creating sculptures. His work can be viewed at various exhibits, including the Kravets Wehby Gallery in New York, the Richard Heller Gallery in California and the David Risley Gallery in Denmark. A collaboration with Danish menswear brand Soulland is also due to be released in Spring of 2016. Although his work presents a comforting looseness, one can expect nothing short of total artistic tightness to come from Charlie Roberts in the future.
Text by PATRICK LABA