Robert Flynt, "Untitled", 2001, unique-image chromogenic photograph.

Robert Flynt, “Untitled”, 2001, unique-image chromogenic photograph.

Robert Flynt

Robert Flynt’s History series, reproduced in Your Numbered Days, literally combines found images of the past with images of the present and metaphorically transcends the intersections of then and now. Vance Martin writes of his work: Fading, distorted, out of focus men seem to be Flynt’s metaphorical reminders of the ephemeral, transitory nature of the physical body and the fragility of the spirit. In some photographs, figures converge with deceased ancestors or ancient art. Floating bodies share space with planetary bodies and celestial heavens. These are poetic meditations on our connections to the past and our place in the infinite cosmos.

Robert Flynt explains his juxtaposing of images from past and present in his artist statement. “We look to (and at) images to find information: practical, aesthetic, erotic, and points between or overlapping. We are often seduced; we believe the photograph’s illusory diorama of a point in time, the diagram or chart’s authoritative organization of fact. My primary concern is to re-imagine the human body – in relation to its own assumed / perceived structure, as well as to “others” (other bodies, spaces, systems). Each image is the intersection of two layers: one a figure photographed with limited control (usually underwater), the other a found photograph or textbook illustration. In combining two often contradictory vocabularies, I am hoping to subvert their ostensible subject while harnessing their respective power(s). The goal is a meaning beyond or between the boundaries of their individual language: the authority of the scientific illustration, the inscribed ideals of the classical art reference, the sentimentality or “family values” of the vernacular found photograph. Juxtaposed to the metaphoric submerged figure, a jangling dialog is created that ranges from the reinforcing to the ridiculous. Can we finally see more than we know?”

Robert Flynt is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and its post-graduate program in Rome. He lives and works in upstate New York. His work has been exhibited extensively in the U.S. since the early 1980s at venues including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Wessel + O’Connor Gallery in NYC, the Houston Center for Photography, San Francisco Camerawork, CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, the Katonah Museum of Art, Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, and the G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle. His work graces the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Monographs include [Your] Numbered Days, Compound Fracture, and Blind Trust; magazine publications include those in Art in America, New York Times, Smithsonian, Utne Reader, and the Village Voice. Along with numerous visiting artist and residency engagements throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, Flynt has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Light Work, and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation