Painter Robert Cartmell, who is also a renowned roller coaster enthusiast, works in a tradition that could be loosely connected to Philip Guston and other members of the so-called second generation New York School, who preferred a more lyrical variation on the blood-and-guts formula of abstract expressionism. Although he is a generation younger than these artists, and prefers figurative over abstract references in his thickly impastoed canvases, Cartmell’s distinctive touch comes through particularly in his drawings, which are often more explicit in their references to daily life. Many of Cartmell’s paintings actually depict the roller coasters that he has made one of the focal points of life, although he often deploys them as a metaphor for the risks and excitement that face all of us in the process of day-to-day living. – excerpt from a catalog essay by Dan Cameron
My work expresses my fascination with ancient history, mythology and magic, love for music, flowers, amusement parks and carousel horses. On the surface, the playful imagery evokes a sense of pleasure and enjoyment but with an underlying dash of dark humor.