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Name   : Robert Mehling
Location: Riverhead  
  United States
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  Garden Glove
  Late Break with Velasquez
Mehling,Robert-Jug Horn & Print Blocks
Jug Horn & Print Blocks / Painting Oil / 16" x 20" / $ 3000. USD


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Robert Mehling

I was born Robert Raymond Mehling near New York City on October 10th, 1954, and currently live and paint on Long Island. Artistic ability emerged early, but I became a career painter only recently. I hold an A.S. degree in art from Suffolk County Community College, a B.F.A. from Southampton College, and studied classical painting for 3 years at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton and the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor. In 2003, I won a Certificate of Merit award at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, and placed 2 works at the Parrish Art Museum's 38th Juried Exhibition in Southampton. In 2004, I exhibited 24 Oil Still lifes at a solo show at the Port Washington Public Library.
I create pictures by looking at things and painting their likeness. My images are rendered in the academic pictorial style of "classical realism" (an emerging, non-modernist, alternative modern art). This gives my painting a traditional look, but my version is a unique amalgam of influences, and my subjects are personally significant. Therefore, my work is current and relevant - not atavistic. My goal is to capture the character of what I see. A painting can delve deeper than a snapshot's superficial facts without using distortion or invention to express an inner nature. I try to paint this essence without abandoning draftsmanship. I translate the images, with feeling and beauty, into painted objects of greater clarity and gravity than observed. This feat is made possible by concentrating on process. Describing what's in front of me plainly - with a genuine desire to share what I find - does the trick. When it comes to catching quintessence, neither mannerism nor machine-like precision beats honest painting. Motif is as important to me as technical proficiency. I imbue my still lifes with a curious tone. Groups of objects are arrayed in deliberately complex ways, as if their combinations imply a hidden meaning, but I usually have no conscious statement. I select things of interest to spark mental associations and suggest chance narratives, but not to tell specific stories. My purpose is simply to share forms with the viewer that I find beautiful and interesting. Pictures are primary. They don't have to be "about" anything; they communicate directly, without words. Because words try to explain pictures, they are (for me) ancillary to painting. Therefore, my paintings are best understood by viewing them. Look and wonder, "why did he paint that thing?", "what does it mean?", but don't answer yourself in words. Just think and feel. For me, nothing is more rewarding than painting. To communicate reality's non-verbal quintessence directly, to recover painting's venerable pictorial vocabulary, to distill visual poetry from objective space; what more splendid study, what more noble occupation, what more "reason for being" could a being hope for?
SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2004 Port Wasington Public Library. June 2-29. 2002 Avram Gallery, Southampton College, LIU. B.F.A. show: "Posting Past Dues". April 27-May 4. 1998 Riverhead Free Library. "Local Landscapes". April 3 - May 29. GROUP EXHIBITIONS (LAST 3 YEARS): 2004 East End Arts Council. Jan. 9-Feb. 7. 2003 The Parrish Art Museum. Oct. 18 -Nov. 9. Phoenix Gallery. Oct. 19 -Nov. 2. Riverhead Incubator for the Arts. Aug. 3 - Dec. 31. Salmagundi Club (Non-member Juried Exhibition) June 10 -29. Grenning Gallery. May 17 -June 15. Blue Door Gallery. Jan. 10 -Feb. 10, Aug. 23 - Nov. 10. East End Arts Council. Jan 10-Feb. 1, Feb. 7-Mar. 8, May 23 -June 22, June 27-July 27, Aug. 1-Sept. 6. Winner's Show: Oct. 17 - Nov. 15. 2002 Arts Council of the East Islip Public Library. Oct. 19 - 27. Smithtown Township Arts Council. Oct. 18 - Nov. 24. Riverhead Free Library. June 8-July 2, Nov. 20-Jan. 25 (2003). Elaine Benson Gallery. May 9-28. East End Arts Council. Jan.11-Feb. 16, Feb. 22 -Mar. 30, June 7- July 7.

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