The Drawers - Robert Bigelow  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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The channel between the physical world and the spiritual world for Robert Bigelow is ART. If art and religion were similar, there would be a practice to support this association - an artistic practice similar to the devotions of a priest in order to tune into the spiritual state. 

When spirituality is manifest in great works of art, it provokes a reverence for the phenomenal object. Sometimes, that connection is made through a chaotic energy. Basquiat would be an example where, the street smart, pop savvy, self destructive associations that made up Basquiat’s life, and hence his particular knowledge abstraction, passes through a referential phase. If the practice and devotional habits are pure, and the mind is sharp and connected to a holistic center, then the resultant visuals reveal the spirit realm.

This process, for Robert Bigelow, is Abstract Automatism. His hand is the channel from which his awareness of the spiritual visual realm is brought into this physical world.  Each art piece is a visual record of a mind state. There are, of course, conscious decisions made during the transmission of this automatic imagery. Robert chooses a blue or a red, a black or yellow. He chooses his implement, a brush, pen, pencil - of varying sizes. He tapes his chosen paper to a board. All of these are actions born from the physical world. But the images themselves, that which we see as energetic swirls and markings originate outside of logic.

Robert  practice has been honed through meditation, vegetarianism, a perception of toxicity and a resultant correction towards clean air and healthful living. Just as Basquiat’s street savvy comes through his abstraction, Bigelow’s refined lifestyle serves to present his wisdom of the spiritual realms. The work that results from his practice gives back to the viewer a rich and complex positivism. It sets up a map of visual freedom that grants permission to wander the spirals, color fields, dizzy depths and convoluted space with an independent mind. Robert Bigelow’s paintings are a sci-fi journey with a lifeline firmly rooted in the traditions and practices of the art world.

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers