Rob Rey strives to paint new myths. Through its countless mythological traditions, humanity has proven to have a deep-seated need for awe-inspiring stories and the experience of wonder. With a powerful resonance, these stories provide a framework for understanding where we fit in our communities, and in our cosmos. They can also give a us a feeling of shared connection and participation with the rest of humanity, helping us to show our more caring and compassionate side. Unfortunately, the most popular stories being passed on today come from traditions developed in very different times. These antiquated stories inevitably come prepackaged with inseparable cultural baggage and outdated ideas that are, sadly, ill-suited for the equality, understanding, and change that our modern culture so desperately needs. What are the resonant, positive, and appropriate awe-inspiring stories of today? How can our expanding scientific knowledge drive our enchantment with the natural world and grow our empathic interests toward our fellow humans? Exploring these questions visually, Rob hopes to promote or create the stories that best help us to achieve these goals.
Originally from a suburb north of Chicago, Rob hiked across New England on the Appalachian Trail before going on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating there with a BFA in Illustration. Rob now resides in Denver, Colorado.
While his foremost passion is for learning of any kind, Rob’s interests are frequently peaked by both natural sciences like astronomy and physics as well as social sciences like psychology and sociology. These interests commonly influence his work, as do a multitude of inspiring artists from classical art to golden age illustration and contemporary representational art. Through his love affair with the medium of oil paint, he strives to make pictures that are not only beautiful but thought provoking as well. Careful attention to edges and working ‘wet into wet’ are important to getting the look Rob loves most, but above all, he feels that a successful painting must convey emotion in order to connect with the viewer in a lasting way.
“One of my greatest obstacles/assets as an artist is that I’m not content to just make pretty pictures. Not because I’m afraid people would get tired of them, but because I want to be able to look back and feel like I did something that made a difference in some way, or at least that I tried to. There’s nothing wrong with pretty-pictures for their own sake. Most of the images that I love, as well as many of the paintings that I make, could fall into this category, but I’ve always had a strong desire to do good and make a positive impact on the world. So, to truly be happy with my body of work it has to be saying something, whether that something be educational, inspiring, or relevant to current events and topics. This pursuit has slowed me down a lot over the years. It takes me a long time to come up with concepts that I think have a good message, but I feel better about my work in the end and I hope this contributes to people’s interest in my art.” – Rob Rey (Every Day Original)