Robert Avila’s path to creating fine art has been backwards. Whereas many artists grow to embrace digital technology after a childhood spent working with in analog media like pencils and paper, Robert took the opposite direction, starting with digital and moving into the analog world. His introduction to the visual arts began in a commercial printing plant, using computer software to produce real estate sales magazines. You know this kind of magazine -- the “shoppers” you find in stacks and racks in the lobbies of Deney’s restaurants and hotels, where newcomers can quickly assess neighborhoods and price points over Grand Slam breakfasts or while they watch TV in their rooms.
Armed with this limited experience, this young native Texan migrated to California for, he hoped, a career in commercial art. His studio experience as a production artist taught him two things: He had a knack for computer software, and an artist’s eye. He also soon realized it would be more affordable to live almost anywhere else. So he returned to Texas and pursued a career as a production artist, then graphic designer, for a Houston-based publisher. It was only after he returned to school to pursue a formal art degree as a “mature student” that he started drawing by hand -- all the time, mostly at night and on weekends.
He prefers to work on black paper with pastels, metallic inks, colored pencils and ink markers. His autodidactic technique is informed by his experience in front of a monitor, his facility with illustration software, and the glowing quality of transmitted light. How he translates these influences into highly conceptual visual art suitable for reflective light environments is uniquely striking. But you don’t want to read about his art. Click around and explore it.
About The Artwork
Most of my artwork originates on black paper or matte board. I use a blend of metallic oil paints, pastels and colored pencils to achieve a unique look that almost seems to transmit light or glow in the dark. These unique pieces seem to change and differ depending on the lighting conditions and the environment they are placed. Because of this, these pieces truly must be seen in person to appreciate these subtleties.