Casey Roberts’ paintings create small poignant moments, vaguely narrative and reminiscent of the most elegant children’s book illustrations. Somewhere between the bright playfulness of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and suggestive darkness in drawings by Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) Roberts’ work creates a distinct atmosphere where empty space, nature and narrative become characters in the artist’s own curious world.
Roberts’ world extends to his self-created process of merging photographic and household chemistry with traditional painting. After coating watercolor paper with light-sensitive cyanotype chemicals traditionally used for photographic prints, Roberts treats the paper with even more chemicals, like baking soda and peroxide, to bleach and stain the blue background and achieve a rainbow of color. When “fixed” and the paper is no longer light sensitive, Roberts continues to work into the painting with traditional paints in his signature and whimsical illustrative manner.
Recently Roberts has begun incorporating text elements in his compositions. Abstract statements like Totally Free Now build tension between the open space and drawn elements.
Casey Roberts earned his BFA in 1999 from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. Roberts currently works and curates the occasional show out of his studio in the Murphy Art Center building in Indianapolis. Roberts participated in numerous residencies, including a fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and from the Ox-Bow Foundation. After an apparent “flirtation” with racing cars, Roberts has now dedicated himself to making artworks.