Profile of Robert Oxley
Robert Oxley's love for painting began at an early age when one of his drawings was published in a book called 'Getting Ready For School' which was sent out to nurseries all over the world. In later years, his work started to get influenced by the horror movies and rock music for which he would sit and draw monsters and copy album covers. As time went on, he developed an interest in wildlife, and with the ambition to one day become a zoo keeper, Robert began to make a paint dioramas for his imaginary zoos. But the real change in Robert's life came when at the age of 12 his grandfather set him a challenge to draw all the birds they both loved and make it into a book. The surprise came when his grandfather arranged an exhibition for Robert to display his work. Now with the ambition to follow a path in the arts, Robert Oxley attempted an A-Level in art as well as a degree later on in his life. However, having been self taught to an already high level, Robert found it too repetitive and therefore decided to carry on self teaching as he had started. “Everything I know I taught myself from watching and doing, if I saw something I liked I’d try it myself and I never give up on a piece.” Since, Robert Oxley has displayed his work in various galleries around the UK as well as appeared in several publications was commended by the BBC as Wildlife Artist of the Year.
Robert Oxley's initial genre was primarily photorealistic paintings on natural history, focusing on the loss of natural habitat and the extinction of certain species. More recently, Robert has developed his genre towards pop surrealism as well as abstract. Getting his influence from artist such as Robert Crumb, Glenn Brown and Robert Williams, his work presents a 'psychedelic natural history'. Looking for a change, Robert began with blank canvases on which he drew and painted with no clear guideline or idea on what the end result would come to. The outcome of this was that Robert realised that he was looking for a loose and expressionistic style which although very liberating was also controlled and detailed, creating a distorted impression of his previous artwork.
The idea behind his work is to give out an impression that there is no particular order or method to how he paints. However on closer look, viewers will notice that the detail and the brushstrokes imply that he has placed every small line and texture with precision. Robert Oxley's artwork truly captures the idea that nature, despite looking loose and free is in fact complex and intricate.