Charlie Roberts, born 1983 in Kansas, USA, lives and works in Oslo, Norway, New York and Los Angeles.
Roberts is a polymath, a cultural magpie. His various endeavours cross-pollinate, building myths amongst themselves. Roberts' works borrow from art-historical and pop cultural sources. His cramped paintings display the perspectival complexity of ancient Egyptian and Byzantine painting. The contents are stacked one above the other, showing different views simultaneously. They bring to mind Hockney's early paintings and photo collages, cubism and comic books.
Roberts is fearless in his approach to subject, style and technique. The result is full of energy, determination and a unique expression which draws on the illusion of the good life and shows a fascination of hip-hop culture with Roberts' recognizable beautiful young sporty women, drawn in a style leading your thoughts to Matisse’s dancers. They work out with a smile while sweat trickles down them, play tennis with the racket, arms and legs sinuously morphing and entwining around each other. The subject matter, utterly contemporary, banal and everyday is at odds with the delicacy of the medium they are made in. Watercolour on paper, over a painted pink ground which unifies the overall image and brings harmonious tonal order to the chaotic scenarios. His wide-ranging practice also encompasses sculptures roughly carved from chunks of local trees and painted, sitting somewhere between tribal objects, folk art and pop-cultural figures.