Best known for his photorealistic drawings, Longo explores imagery within a complex social and cultural forces. Robert Longo was born in 1953, in Brooklyn, New York, and has had a childhood fascination with mass media: movies, television, magazines, and comic books, which continue to deeply influence his art. One of the quintessential artists of the 1980s, Longo is perhaps best known for the writhing, dancing figures in his iconic Men in the Cities series.
The American artist´s drawings are, perhaps, his most iconic. They are as much about the content they depict as they are about the artist´s intense devotion to the practice of drawing. His amazingly deep, anthracite charcoal drawings show emotional motives.
“As an artist, we’re reporters. Our job is to report what it’s like to be alive now. We’re one of the few professions left in the world that has the opportunity to try to tell the truth.” —Robert Longo
Perhaps the best known photorealist series of Robert Longo´s is Men in the Cities, depicting contorted, life-size human figures in an urban setting. Robert Longo´s art focuses on his never-ending investigation of the themes of power and authority, which also permeate his series of blackened American flags (Black Flags, 1989–91), and oversized handguns (Bodyhammers, 1993–95). Longo´s series, Monsters, which depict massive breaking waves, and The Sickness of Reason, featuring atomic bomb blasts, followed in 2002 and 2004. It was during the 1980s that Robert Longo started to produce editions, mainly lithographs. He then gradually developed a high-end print technique, Pigment Print, which allows him to reproduce his drawings perfectly. Robert Longo´s prints capture the same level of detail and emotional impact of the original drawings.