I attended a lecture at the RISD Museum in October by the British artist Bob Smith (Roberta is his alter ego). It was dark in the Metcalf auditorium, but I scribbled some notes that I’ve always wanted to transcribe because much of what he said was at the intersection of being serious, funny, obvious, contradictory, over-the-top, and downright inspiring:
Artists, poets, dancers, architects built America and they will rebuild America with art at its center.
Artists are people who speak out. So being an artist is a tough, dirty job.
Art is the economic stimulus that the world needs right now.
Everybody needs/enjoys/consumes images.
The art world is a gated community.
I need to think that art can help.
Artists are people who want to add something that they see missing.
Creativity is about a certain kind of rebellion.
Everything is made.
While art is being accepted into society, it’s important for art to retain a critical underground.
Make your own d*mn art!
Bob leads what he calls the “Art Party” -- a kind of politics that the world might need right now. -JM
The STEAM movement was inspired by many artists like Bob (and Roberta) Smith