Is anyone familiar with this man and his inflated sense of self worth?

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  1. #1
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    Is anyone familiar with this man and his inflated sense of self worth?

    My roommate's family came to visit this weekend. They went to see this artist, Robert January, speak about his work in NYC and he made some fascinating statements.

    "No one alive can draw hands as well as I can"
    "You need a masterful eye to depict the ellipse of the bike wheel"

    I normally wouldn't go out of my way to speak poorly of an artist but he has a terrible attitude towards his achievements. He's been drawing for almost a decade, but most of his work just looks like student quality. There are all kinds of apparent flaws in his drawings and his finished (and expensive) landscapes look like sketches a 14 year old made. Some of his painted figures aren't as awful, like the man on the bike (only 25 grand, by the way). But it's like his ridiculous attitude has kept him from making much progress in the decade he's been working. Oh, and if you work digital, you're apparently not an artist, "but a graphic designer", you're untalented, and you can go fuck yourself.

    the drawings are some of the more recent ones in his online gallery. I just don't get this guy.








    Last edited by AldoKatayanagi; October 16th, 2008 at 06:47 PM. Reason: image links
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  3. #2
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    Man, how I wish you were joking, but I know you're not.

    I wish it wasn't possible for artists to succeed by simply pounding their chest and declaring the top of the mountain to be where they are, but this sadly seems to work with some segments of the general public -- at least for a little while

    I agree: it all looks very student quality.

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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  4. #3
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    What a crummy tale. How this guy managed to get a speaking gig is beyond me.

    But maybe, to look on the bright side of things, as he gets better, his ego-self-worth issue thing will diminish. Trying to learn how to make art is a fairly humbling experience.

    Of course, we've all met artists who never get it, and remain scared defensive loons for their entire lives.

    Artists who write self-hype like this... that's usually a dead giveaway...

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  5. #4
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    Spectacularly mediocre.


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  6. #5
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    Did he get to sell some of the 20 grand pictures ?
    If yes it would make me 33.459% more angry.

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  7. #6
    Jesus christ that's incredible please tell me they touched his hands?? What did it feel like?? If you could ask them what he smelled like in most intimate detail i would paypal you money TIA

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  8. #7
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    He smelt of elderberries, pay up.

    Man, I am so pleased that I wasn't alone in my appraisal of this douchebag-to-end-all-douchebags. The guy has sold plenty of stuff, and probably to my roommate's dad. He works for Exxon, he can buy the entire bike series.

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  9. #8
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    God, what a tremendous douchebag.

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  10. #9
    Lets see if this works....

    I am the greatest artist ever to live!! Noone can draw as awesomely as I!


    ....Am I a great artist yet? Cause his art sucks ass, but hes apparently fairly big. I cant tell if that face looks like a girl or the bad guy from the matrix.

    FUCK YOU YA PRETENTIOUS DICKS!! BAN ME!!
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  11. #10
    A decade? I've been drawing seriously for maybe a year and a half, and I'd be embarrased to put this in my sb:



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  12. #11
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    * looks at portrait of the woman * * Laughs and laughs rolling on the floor until it starts to hurt * * gets back up and avoids looking at the picture again for fear of dying of laughter *

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  13. #12
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    Well, this does set the standard much lower. I'm sure i can raise the price of my oils now.

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  14. #13
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    I used to work in framing. Artist Bios are the BEST THING EVAR. I've never seen one that wasn't full of pretentiousness. Sadly, this man is far from alone.

    'Course, whenever we got another one in the shop, we always said: "But they got out there and sold their work. What have we done lately?" (& then we hung the bio on our WALL OF AWESOME). Humble artists make for bad money-makers.

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  15. #14
    What a douche.

    but still.. he did get you guys talking about him.

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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam View Post

    but still.. he did get you guys talking about him.
    so did manky, man.

    Maybe that's not a good counter example, because I am jealous of his legacy in a sick way.

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  17. #16
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    I have to agree on the artist's bio thing.
    Nearly every bio I have ever read makes makes me hate the artist's before I even see their work.

    pretty sad really

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  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GentleFood3 View Post
    "You need a masterful eye to depict the ellipse of the bike wheel"

    Bwahaha right...straight lines require half an egg, two cups of coffee and dancing around a pole before picking up the pen.

    Actually, although his art is indeed rather mediocre, he simply understood what it takes to make a lot of money out of them. It's a simple equation that is also used when marketing everyday products. If you sell it for a reasonable price, people won't buy it because it spells 'mediocre' and 'common' all over it. Sell it for an idiotic amount of money and people start thinking there is actually more to it than meets the eye, otherwise how could it be that expensive if it wasn't top notch? Most people don't know the first thing about art except the price, so something expensive must be good right? If you know how to market your stuff you can get rich easily

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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoitisi View Post
    Bwahaha right...straight lines require half an egg, two cups of coffee and dancing around a pole before picking up the pen.

    Actually, although his art is indeed rather mediocre, he simply understood what it takes to make a lot of money out of them. It's a simple equation that is also used when marketing everyday products. If you sell it for a reasonable price, people won't buy it because it spells 'mediocre' and 'common' all over it. Sell it for an idiotic amount of money and people start thinking there is actually more to it than meets the eye, otherwise how could it be that expensive if it wasn't top notch? Most people don't know the first thing about art except the price, so something expensive must be good right? If you know how to market your stuff you can get rich easily
    ohhh now i gotta try this

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  20. #19
    Very well, instead of $100 for a weapon concept, I shall charge $50,000.87 for a line art of said weapon.

    FUCK YOU YA PRETENTIOUS DICKS!! BAN ME!!
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  21. #20
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    It doesn't seem to work outside of fine art though
    but who knows ! you might become the next best guy alive !

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  22. #21
    It does for Hedge funds, but the other way round, kinda. The more established and respected a Hedge fund the more they can afford to take and then people see this price as a certificate of security.

    You know, just in case any of you starving artists are any nearer to the $1.5bn needed to start up a fund.

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  23. #22
    Funny old world we live in eh?

    Actually, selling mediocre art for far more than its really worth isn't as easy as it sounds. The thing is, while your art doesn't have to be really good you have to make sure you sell it the right way. Although some people are artblind this does not mean no one recognizes a real bad piece of art, so you have to have your work above a certain limit. Then, you need to figure out the right price. Too much, and people won't buy it, but too little and your public image is weakened. For products, companies actually conduct research by showing random people their product and asking them what they would pay for it (depending on the product, this is often way more than you would expect). Also, if you're asked to give a lecture you have to make sure you don't make a complete fool of yourself so you have to come up with sentences like the above. At first glance they seem pretty insightfull, but they actually don't tell you anything new. And being a bit arogant also helps here.

    I can't really stand that sort of people. They don't really care about their art but more about the money, and they sort of spoil the market for people who really know what they're doing. I once had the dubious honour of seeing someone giving a demo for Copic Markers at my faculty. His artwork was really mediocre even for Deviantart standards, and not surprisingly he mainly drew Manga (you know, the kind that looks as if it's copied from reference drawings that already were copied from someone else). He had no sense of lighting, shape or anatomy, but everyone around the stand was pretty impressed by what he was doing. People who actually knew something about drawing and using copics themselves. The world outside communities like CA simply isn't as used to good art as we are, and people like this Robert January just use that to earn themselves a living.

    So if you want to sell your own art, think about that

    Last edited by yoitisi; February 17th, 2008 at 01:54 PM.
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  24. #23
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    Screw bettering myself, SVA had better teach me how to exploit the public and take their money. It's the only way I'll be able to afford school and food even with a scholarship.

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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleFood3 View Post
    "You need a masterful eye to depict the ellipse of the bike wheel"

    It also takes a masterful eye to capture the beauty of a lopsided, painful looking batch.

    What a blow hard.

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  26. #25
    It's really strange that some artists seem to get quite arrogant when they are successful. And sometimes even when they are not.
    It's also strange that this phenomenon mostly only applies to mediocre artists.
    Also it only seems to be widespread in Europe and the US. I've never met an arrogant Artist from somewhere else. But then again, I have never met a mediocre Artist from somewhere else.
    If you are really good I think you can sell your Art even if it's cheap

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  27. #26
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    I'll give him this: At least he isn't posting crappy MSPaint pictures of Sonic like chasethehedgehog.

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  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleFood3 View Post
    "You need a masterful eye to depict the ellipse of the bike wheel"
    Agreed. And he seems to need to work on his just a bit more.

    Same with the hands. I draw from memory more often then not and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable putting my drawn hands up agaisnt his (at least based on the example in this thread).

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  29. #28
    wooooow....
    what is up with that pencil portrait.........
    I see 20? 30? 50+ times the talent from people just selling from stalls in malls and I'll bet its cheap from them, yet it had such perfect likeness of celebrities...

    I got to bow down to his magical marketing experties...

    I am just a newb trying my best.
    Shoo! Stop laughing!
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  30. #29
    Manky's distant relative perhaps?

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  31. #30
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    I like what Yoitisi said about this. I agree that this is quite a display of douchebaggery, but still the point of an art sale is to sell art and that's what he's doing. At least he seems to have an understanding of light and shade and anatomy if nothing else, unlike the atrocity a few months back with that asshole guy who was exploiting his daughters shitty "ABSTRACT ART" for thousands of dollars.

    That being said he's still a douche bag and his paintings are run of the mill. Especially if his little speaking gig was as bad as stated.

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