Robert Servo is an artist/musician based out of New York. With an MFA in painting Robert’s work is exhibited regularly.
MamaProud: You paint and you’re a musician. Are the two expressions connected?
Robert Servo: Very much so. For many years I was always either focusing on painting or writing and playing music. While I was in graduate school I decided I was going to combine both ways of thought to try push my overall vision. The result is the asymmetrical mixed media paintings that you can see on my site.
MP: How did Homespun Vector come about?
RS: Before I started graduate school I was in an instrumental group called The Kinde Trio that focused on playing a lot of improv. After six months of school I missed playing out and bouncing creative ideas of other musicians, so I started writing music on my own. Because of school I had no time for a band so I started picking up random musicians and friends for gigs. Playing with other musicians keeps it fresh and the sound morphing.
MP: I took a look at your site. Your work comes across as surreal. Do you ever get crazy interpretations of your work?
RS: I do – no one example that sticks out. Usually either people write my work off or they get really into it and tell me their version of the narratives I paint. The interactions I have with the people who really get into the work at shows is the greatest pay off.
MP: What were your first attempts at being creative?
RS: Drawing in my grandparent’s studio in Florida. My dad’s parents were painters from Brooklyn who both went to Pratt in the 40’s. Growing up they were always supportive.
MP: Do you still live in Brooklyn? Does living in a place like Brooklyn (or being from there) influence your creativity?
RS: I moved from Brooklyn to Queens about 2 months ago. I had a live-work space in Brooklyn for two years. I am moving my studio back as soon as I can. Queens is nice, but I have yet to find an art scene that compares to Bushwick Brooklyn.
MP: What are your artistic goals?
RS: To keep focusing on and making and showing more work. I also want start teaching at the college level again.
MP: What is the greatest compliment you’ve received/greatest insult with regard to your work?
RS: Someone told me I have a sick sense of Humor in response to a piece I showed at the Fountain Art Fair this year in New York.
I think the greatest insult I have ever received was at the same show. My old boss who is also a performance artist bought one of my paintings. Then chainsawed it into pieces and hung it back on the wall for sale. After that day he never called me to come back to work.