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Robin Clare

Robin Clare

Hailing from Jamaica, Sydney based artist Robin Clare’s recent work is inspired by dancehall culture and the brilliant aesthetics of Jamaican party promotions. Her work explores the scope of imagery used throughout the decades since Jamaican music hit the worlds stage. The range covers large scale paintings referencing outrageous party names and the slick and sexy imagery that surrounds the scene today. Mid size pieces inspired by dances and other pop culture that has emerged from the scene. To quick, gritty little screen prints harking back to the rough and ready aesthetic of 1970's era reggae promotion when sound systems took the music to the people on the back of old pick up trucks.


Born in Belize to Jamaican parents, Clare has lived in Belize, Jamaica, Canada and the UK. While in Canada she completed her foundation studies in studio arts and also gained a qualification as an architectural draftsman. In 2004 Clare graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Painting from the University of the Arts, London, and has had solo and group shows across the UK and internationally, and has works in private and public collections in Europe, Asia, North America and Jamaica.

Buy original artworks and signed limited edition prints by Robin Clare at Opus Fine Art; the home of Contemporary art.

About the Super Villain series

'The Super Villain project, a series of portraits of political leaders in oil on canvas, is an on-going project that I work on in between my other series. I have always been fascinated with the elastic nature of the political machine and the impervious nature of a finely honed public image. The title Super Villain plays with the idea that one man’s hero can be another man’s villain. As I personally tend to find the super villains in a story more intriguing than the hero I went with the title Super Villain for the project.

To keep the project manageable I have limited the portraits to those leaders who have held office within my own lifetime. Each portrait is painted in oil on canvas and captures an image representing an amalgamation of my own memorised interpretation and a mass media interpretation of a particular figure. This has allowed me to subtly play with the popular perceptions of each personality in my composition. For example: Reagan, the Teflon don with his glinting movie star smile; Thatcher, tough, proud, formidable, hawk like; Gorbachev, driven, single-minded, stone faced. Without creating caricatures I have tried to subtly inject individual characteristics that tell a little more than the official portrait might do.

The ground behind these figures has been painted white, paying homage to the attempted blank slate that the new decision maker takes on or creates and onto which they make their mark. The white background also suggests the haze of disinformation that surrounds many a public figure and the inference of other forces working behind the scenes, like wool being gently pulled over the eyes. The real story is on a strictly need to know basis for us non-members. The series as a whole is a reflection on the levels of transparency and the nature of a finely crafted public image. As the project has progressed many smaller narratives have emerged within it. Links are automatically created within groupings of figures offering up a bit of fun, much like a game of connect the dots with a who’s who narrative'.

Read more about Robin Clare Close X
Robin Clare

2004 BA (Hons) Painting, University of the Arts, London
2000 Diploma in Studio Arts, Capilano College, British Columbia, Canada

Solo Exhibitions
2012 Dancing Words, The Tate, Glebe, Sydney
2011 White Noise, ESD Gallery, Darlinghurst, Sydney
2008 Patterns of Consumption, South Bank Arts Centre, Bedford College, Bedford
2008 Patterns, Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh, Northern Ireland
2006 Recent Work, Freud, Covent Garden, London

Group Exhibitions
2011 Answers on the Front of a Postcard, Opus Fine Art, Newcastle upon Tyne
2010 I Remember... , Artfest 2010, Birmingham
2010 Patrick's Harvist Art Fair, Patrick's Harvist, London
2010 Selectors' Choice, House Festival, The Regency Town House, Brighton
2010 Brighton Fringe Festival, Claremont Hotel, Brighton
2010 Doorway to Dignity Art Trail, Bath Town Centre, Bath
2010 Danger, Rag Factory, Brick Lane, London
2010 It's Not Funny, MAP Gallery, Leeds
2009 Tate the Biscuit, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
2009 Special Yoga Centre, London
2009 Subversive Correspondence, BAR Gallery, London
2009 Festival of Interdependance, Oxo Tower, London
2009 DIY London Seen, Covent Garden, London
2009 Robin Clare & Steve Price, The HUB, Kings Cross, London
2009 Affluenza, St John Street, Clerkenwell, London
2009 B.E.A.T.M.P. Film Festival, Gallery Rotor, Göteborg
2009 Selectors' Choice, House Festival, The Regency Town House, Brighton
2009 Brighton Fringe Festival, Claremont Hotel, Brighton
2008 White Goods, Stroud House Gallery, Stroud
2008 The Painted Face, Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham
2008 Blank Media Film Screenings, Axis Festival, Stoke on Trent
2008 Small Things, Chapel Gallery, Lancashire
2007 Stick*Stamp*Fly, Gasworks, London
2007 Punk, Galerie Le Cocon, Hamburg
2007 Punk, Ada Street Gallery, London
2007 Robin Clare & Pam Glew, Gallery 40, Crawley
2006 Liberté d’ Expression, London
2006 Spring Exhibition, Stark Gallery, London
2006 Copper and Patterns, Arthotels, Brighton Fringe, Brighton
2005 Salzburg in Neuen Ansichten, Schloß Neuhaus Gallery, Salzburg
2005 Open Spaces Open Places, Northampton Festival, Northampton
2005 Are we nearly there yet?, Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham
2005 SNUG, Sun and Doves Gallery, London
2004 Cream, Sun and Doves Gallery, London

Jun 2012 Jamaica Gleaner
Jun 2012 Birmingham Post 
May 2012 Acclaim Magazine 
Nov 2010 Yen Magazine 

Read more about Robin Clare Close X

Related Images

Related Exhibitions

Answers on the Front of a Postcard

Deck the Walls

Arrange artworks by: Go

Robin Clare:
Willy Bounce
Robin Clare:
Wacky Dip
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Nuh Linga
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Gully Creepa
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Dash Wata
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Boasy Step
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Robin Clare:
Heat Wave
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