What Sparked it All?

Japer Johns
"Three Flags"
Painted in 1958 at the age of 28
The Whitney Museum Of American Art

Robert Santoré
"Red"
Painted in 1967 at the age of 6
Happly Hanging in the Soho Loft

My family moved from the United Kingdom to Southern California. My father had been stationed at Bentwaters Air Force base in Great Brintain and was transferred to March Air Force base in Southern California.

We fully embraced the Southern California lifestyle and settled in Huntington Beach in 1967. Our family enjoyed all the typical activities of the time, from visiting Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Marine Land, to camping in Joshua Tree National park and the gold rush country in the High Sierra Mountains. We often had late- night beach bonfires with music playing in the background, providing the soundtrack to our lives.

I began surfing at the age of 7 and started skateboarding the following year. The open culture of Southern California, with its dynamic and colorful environment, provided me with a free-range childhood that was a stark contrast to the structured and scheduled life I had previously experienced as a military (air force brat) child.

A very early memory that sticks out is when my mother took me to the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. As we drove she told me the two of us were “going to see some very special things she wanted to show me and meet some cool people.”
We saw works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Wallace Berman, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin, John Mason, Kenneth Price, Llyn Foulkes (I later studied under Llyn at Otis/Parson), Larry Bell (and Larry went to my 1st solo show at the Jerry Solomon Gallery), Ed Ruscha and others.

Later that day I found myself in a garage in the Hollywood hills watching Billy Al Bengston and Ed Ruscha painting surfboards while my mom sat on lawn chairs with others from the gallery opening & sipping wine, laughing and enjoying the sunset over the Los Angeles Basin.

On the way home I asked if we could stop and buy some art supplies. The next day we did:

“We saw works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Wallace Berman, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin, John Mason , Kenneth Price, Llyn Foulkes, Larry Bell, Ed Ruscha.”

1 canvas
2 bushes
1 tube of Cobalt blue
1 tube of Prussian blue
1 tube of Mars black< I still own the painting and it hangs today in the Soho loft. The result was “RED”
11 x 14in (27.94 x 35.56cm) Oil on canvas

IMAGES : (1) Robert Santoré a MoMA  (2) Detail of “You Shot Your Lady Down” in process at the Texas Studio (3) Sketches for You Shot Your Lady Down and Tallulah (4) Driving 150mph + back in the day Mammoth Lakes California (5) COVID lockdown day 42 “ (6) Detail “COVID CHAOS TWOxFour” (7) Detail of Christ “FAST FOOD” (8) Plans for shipping crate  (9) Robert Santoré painting “COVID CHAOS TWOxFour” in the Texas studio

Robert Santoré<br />
"RED" 1967

Robert Santoré
“Red”
Painted in 1967 at the age of 6
Happly Hanging in the Soho Loft

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Robert Santoré

STUDIO PRACTICE

TEXAS ART RANCH
Montgomery, Texas, 77363

MANHATTAN STUDIO
New York, NY 10002

+1 (936)548-2264
hello@robertsantore.com

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