Featured Artist Profile: Robert Cantor
Inspired by a varied range of cultural artifacts, from old-master paintings to black and white family vacation photos and his personal collection of over eight hundred pencil sharpeners, Cantor’s work is energized by juxtaposition and irony. The winning piece, “Ball Play” perfectly exemplifies his approach. Here a family photo is transformed into an oil painting with Cantor’s characteristic soft grays, more like charcoal than paint, and he and his brothers are replaced by sharpeners from Cantor’s collection. Made life-size and all the brighter and bolder by their placement in the monochromatic setting, the dogs are given an increased sense of animation along with a paradoxically heightened artificiality.
Cantor explains that, “[T]he snapshots represent not just my own youth but the seemingly innocent early stages of the modern consumer culture which we now live in… I know I've created a successful painting when these odd little artifacts of consumer society stare back with their own unique personalities and inner lives, boldly confronting the viewer with the absurdity of their own existence.”
Cantor’s formal training includes time at Northern Virginia Community College and Alexandra Art League School. He has won several awards and participated in many juried shows.
“Ball Play” begs for a sophisticated, modern treatment such as the black, crisp lines of American Frame’s Standard, Standard Plus or Canvas metal collections. Two mats, a black primary with an off-white border, would offer the combination of simplicity and gravitas the work requires.
To contact Cantor or follow his work, visit his website.