Robert Goss, "(Re) Stretch & (Re)Serve", from the "Animal Magnetism" series, 2003, mixed media on metal & magnets

Robert Goss, “(Re) Stretch & (Re)Serve”, from the “Animal Magnetism” series, 2003, mixed media on metal & magnets

Robert Goss

My current work involves the photographing of images from the media (newspapers, books, magazines) and other “live” photographic sources. The images vary from more personal (biographical), to anonymous, historical images. My goal is to alter these images and thus alter (or influence) the viewer’s thinking. The methods of alternation vary, but are usually connected to basic techniques of drawing and painting. The image may be further altered by the addition of written (usually on the wall) or audio (tape recorded) text.

I am concerned with the process of decision making, creative thinking, and the experience of viewing art. We are surrounded by photographic images, which we often take for granted, and give limited viewing time. Through the use of small images, that are unframed (tacked directly on the wall in a non-linear arrangement), I pull the viewer in, to re-experience these images. The familiar is made strange and the viewer must do some “work” to fully experience the pieces. The same or similar images may be altered in varying ways to give each image a new meaning. The written or audio text may enhance the image or create new, diverse meanings that push our thinking in several directions.

It is important to me to expand the definition of art and art making. I want the viewer to experience art as a personal, intimate statement. I do not want the work to function as a decorative object, but more as a method of understanding our daily lives. I want the viewer to get physically and emotionally close to the work. As an artist, I want people to feel good when they view my work.

Robert Goss studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and the Slade School of Art in London, England, before receiving his MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. An active exhibiting artist since the early 1980s, Goss’s most recent shows were held at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY; The Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA; San Francisco Camerawork in San Francisco, CA; and Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. Reviews and features on his work have been published in the Boston Phoenix, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Photo Metro, and Art New England. A three-time recipient of the Massachusetts Arts lottery Grant, he has also earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and residencies at Woodstock’s Byrdcliffe Artist Colony and the Vermont Studio Center.