Channeling Tradition, Robert Minervini Style

What can be said about Robert Minervini that hasn’t already been said? His CV reflects representation at Marine Contemporary in Los Angeles, a solo show at Gallery Hijinks, inclusion in the 2011 BAN6 at YBCA and New American Paintings ed. #91. Recently, Minervini has been the focus of a studio visit by and participated in a two person show at Johansson Projects. Beyond his studio practice he has committed his time to teaching at SFAI, Root Division, Southern Exposure and Oxbow School in Napa. This guy is kind of a machine when it comes to art.  He has been involved with almost every key venue San Francisco has to offer. And with solo show at Electric Works on the horizon, Minervini is channeling traditional, Flemish still-life paintings to produce imagery wrought with contemporary concepts and  techniques.

While cut flowers have previously made an appearance in Minervini’s work, the inclusion of California’s endangered plant and wildlife is a new element. The arrangements focus on various states of decay and alludes to the deterioration that occurs when nature collides with the urban landscape.  These concepts, in addition to others, create an ominous undercurrent for the otherwise idyllic imagery.


Speaking to a familiarity associated with the traditional still-life, the question of how these works have been received by the general viewing public came up.  Looking at one of the paintings, Rob laughed and described an amusing conversation he had with his mother about how she has always wanted him to paint flowers.  Sound familiar to anyone?


Using dried paint skins like stencils to create dimension within the compositions, Minervini toys with multiple viewing distances and the physicality of the canvas.  His process is slow, thoughtful and discriminating.  He works his layers to create visual surprises in each piece. With the works still in progress, it is encouraging to see an artist expand upon their originating body of work and re-instating a level of flexibility back into their visual language.

Keep an eye out for Robert Minervini’s work as it is bound to pop up when you least expect it.  We will be sure to post the dates of his next exhibition when available and in the mean time, check out his website and follow him on facebook for up to date information.