Robert Combas (B. 1957)
Robert Combas, born in 1957, is considered as one of the most important living artist in France. He started in the early eighties´ La figuration libre’ mouvement, influenced by the american graffiti and popart.
In the early eighties, Robert Combas came up with a new figurative painting. Since 1979 he has been present on the art scene. He created the “Figuration Libre” movement, as Ben Vautier named it, which brought together Rémi Blanchard, François Boisrond, Robert Combas and Hervé Di Rosa.
This art form inspired by freedom depicts society, violence, sexuality, people’s sufferings and little pleasures, their small mindedness, their great mindedness… Its inspiration derives from rock culture, popular images, childhood books, school textbooks, and everything that makes a popular culture accessible to everyone.
Famous art dealer Leo Castelli organised two personal expositions with his work (1983, 1986) where he also met Keith Heiring and Basquiat. Robert Combas had expositions in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italie, Korea, Switzerland and many other countries.
Sometimes I work abstract, by flicking paint, a sort of abstract expressionism. The figurative bit is the funny, down-to-earth side of me. In the beginning, it was a sort of derisive reaction to the intellectual paintings of the mid-seventies. For my part, I come from a working class background, and I have been living in two separate worlds. My work convey messages; not least of which is its sheer energy, I want to be able to paint whatever I like. In cartoons, you have to stick to the characters, whereas for me, in my painting, I am free, totally free, even the format is free.