Keyword: self-portrait

Woman with a Mirrored Glass thumb

Woman with a Mirrored Glass

Who is this a portrait of? The woman or the photographer reflected in the glass? Is it a double portrait? Robert is the blurry photographer. Heather MacKinnon is the woman holding the glass. She looks upward in a dreamy manner. The

Self-portrait with hand in pocket thumb

Self-portrait with hand in pocket

Drawn in 1986, the year Robert received radiation treatments in Toronto, Robert looks small and frail. His clothes appear oversized and baggy, as if he’s recently lost weight. There is, however, a playful quality to the drawing’s cross-hatching that throws one

Self-portrait (Me by Me) thumb

Self-portrait (Me by Me)

This simple self-portrait shows that Robert has been looking at Baroque images, with their moody lighting effects. Most of his face is drawn in shadow, with the hair and clothes left as an unfinished, frame-like outline. Robert has further stylized

Healing thumb


Robert occasionally reworks earlier motifs into his “Illness & Healing” series. Here he uses the wharf setting, which was such a notable feature of his “Accident” series. In that series, the wharf was a site of mystery, a bridge between

Artist as Thinker thumb

Artist as Thinker

After graduating from art school, Robert was still sorting out priorities. He watched Hollywood films while recovering from cancer treatments and considered ways to connect with a wider audience as these films did. At the same time, he read about contemporary artists who pursued opposite paths.

Self-portrait Poster Ad thumb

Self-portrait Poster Ad

Robert is trying out the idea of himself as 19-year-old artist, entrepreneur and self-promoter. He mimics a Rembrandt-like pose with his folded arms, one hand holding a brush that points to the letters, which his person half-hides. Robert would be

Study of patient’s feet and headless torso thumb

Study of patient’s feet and headless torso

A wedge-like torso seen from the patient’s point of view leads the viewer abruptly into the picture plane, while at the same time giving a sense of dislocation. This feeling is all the more acute because of the absence of

Apartment thumb


A man and woman appear together in a room but they are divided by modern devices: telephone, TV and stereo. Robert’s girlfriend Heather talks on the phone, while a screen lights up in the background. The pensive man, a self-portrait

Self-portrait with Dr. Langley thumb

Self-portrait with Dr. Langley

Robert’s third version of the doctor examining a patient reaches back into art history to quote Goya’s Self-portrait with Dr. Arrieta, the physician who Goya credits with saving his life. Goya’s painting is both a grateful tribute and a pieta

Three Men thumb

Three Men

Robert’s chemo treatments induced nausea. On car rides home from the hospital, he would be sick for most of the hour-long trip. This process of treatment followed by sickness repeated for many months. Robert has recorded this ordeal in Three Men,