Keyword: cars

The Promised Land thumb

The Promised Land

On the surface, it’s meant as a humorous picture of a young woman driving off with her idol, rock star Bruce Springsteen. The model for the woman is Heather MacKinnon and the finished painting was given to Heather as a

Escape thumb


Robert created a trilogy of three watercolour paintings on the theme of exile, including Escape from the Promised Land and The Promised Land. All three paintings feature cars and figures in urban landscapes at night. The earlier paintings make reference to

Rear View thumb

Rear View

Combining Robert’s interest in cars and mirrors, Rear View was a key work of his “Oppositions” exhibition at NSCAD. The opposition in this image involves the city seen at night in the rear-view mirror and the street in the day

Balconies Cars Fences thumb

Balconies Cars Fences

In Robert’s photo on the left, the apartment building looks sterile and repetitive, lacking any trace of comfort or human eccentricity. The oversized American cars are a little outrageous, dinosaurs before the more compact and efficient Honda that’s wedged between them–a sign

Motor Home in Winter thumb

Motor Home in Winter

Yard, picket fence and motor home, it’s the Canadian dream. To pick up and go, trekking from park to park, without foregoing any of the essential conveniences of home. In winter time, these dream machines look a bit like stranded whales. In

Underground Parking thumb

Underground Parking

Robert repeatedly used cars as an emblem of modern mythology. The figure with the keys may refer to Charon, ferryman to the underworld, or to Saint Peter, the gatekeeper to heaven. The machine with its lights gives it the power to overcome darkness, but

Wharf thumb


Robert’s interest in the mythology of pop culture often focused on cars. The Accident series takes, as a point of departure, the breakdown of cars and the subsequent unraveling of a sense of order and certainty. This reflected feelings Robert

Accident thumb


The influence of Andy Warhol is a strong point of departure. Both Warhol and Robert use photos from public sources. In his “Death and Disaster” series (1962-64), featuring car crashes, race riots, and deaths from suicide, electric chairs and atom

Escape from the Promised Land thumb

Escape from the Promised Land

Robert made strong and lasting friendships at university–this was clearly an essential part of his school experience–and it pained him when, after graduation, his friends began “going down the road,” leaving the region one by one. This “brain drain,” so detrimental to the province, remains the

Encounter thumb


The image is reminiscent of Alex Colville’s haunting painting, Horse and Train, freezing the moment before an inevitable collision between on-rushing animal and speeding machine. Robert plays down this immanent sense of impact, with a more brooding sense of confrontation. Has