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TRANSIT INTERVIEW → L'art Pour L'art → By: Baha Danesh

There is a silence about the works of painter Robin Mcgeough. His canvases ask viewers a question that takes a moment to consider: do you want to laugh, or cry, or both?

I recently asked Robin a series of questions about his training, his work and his artistic intentions, which opened the doors to a better understanding of who Robin MeGeough really is.

Baha -  When did you first start creating?

Robin - I first started doing art in San Francisco during the 1980s while drug addicted and homeless. Art was the only area of life that gave me a sense of competence.

I started creating stencils for sidewalks and punk rock jackets, which allowed me to become close friends with artist Michael Ray, who at the time, was a student at the San Francisco School of Art. We immediately bonded together over our shared love of the crude expressionistic art style and pure emotion, now known as street art.

Regretfully, as most drug stories end in death or prison, my story was a slow and agonizing death of my life disintegrating year after year with no way to stop. I soon started to lose the things I loved most, including creating art.

After many years of hard drug use and a painful life on the streets, I hit rock bottom in 1992. I was arrested in Hollywood and sentenced to a 10-month county program for the chronically addicted.

Baha - How do you become interested in your subject matter?

Robin - Reflected in my art you can see the sad, the ridiculous, the painful and the playful life I have dealt with.

Robin - Currently I am 21 years clean and sober and my inspiration comes from personal experiences, especially my recovery from addiction.

Baha - What do you like best about the creative process?

Robin - What I admire most about the creative process is the escape it provides from a painful reality. Art is my new drug of choice and I am addicted to it.

The personal dilemma is that my creative hyper-focus on art has become an obsession, which has had some serious consequences in my daily life.

Baha -  What motivates you to keep creating?

Robin - My motivation for creation is born as a distraction from the pain of myself and my reality. Sometimes it is the only thing that works or makes sense in my life, but every now and then I feel it’s more of an obsession then a distraction.

Baha - Art can sometimes be an isolating profession. How has art connected you to other people?

Robin - Most of my friends are artists or members of the A.A. community. But for the most part art can be a solitary activity and it becomes a collaborative effort when I connect to other like-minded artists during art shows and other art related events.

Baha - Is being an artist your main profession?

Robin - Art is not my main profession; currently I am the director of a chemical dependence services at a local treatment center for psychiatric and chemical dependency problems. Which allows me to create without pressure of creating for sale.

Baha - What are your creative dreams?

Robin - I am extremely happy to say that I am living my creative dream. Currently I am blessed with a beautiful Art gallery and studio in the Arts District of Los Angeles. We are located within the heart of the DTLA Art Walk and it has allowed me to collaborate with unbelievable talented artists each month.

What could be better then that!!!!

At the end of the day I certainly hope people can experience my work with a great amount of feeling and passion, because it has been created from within me to elicit an emotional response.



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