Robin Eley was born in 1978 in London, England.
In 1981 his family migrated to Australia where he completed his secondary education. In 1997 he moved to the United States where he would attend Westmont College, captaining the basketball and earning a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art in 2001.
Eley’s solo exhibitions include Loss/Less (2017) and Prism (2014) in Los Angeles, and Idolatry (2013) and Singularity (2012) in Australia.
Group exhibitions include In the Flesh (2014) at the National Portrait Gallery in Australia, 21st Century Hyperrealism at the Daejeon Museum of Art in South Korea, BMG First Look (2013) at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York, and Journeys at the Ridley Tree Museum of Art in California (2012).
Eley has been a finalist in numerous Australian art prizes, most notably Runner Up (2010) and Highly Commended (2011) in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the world’s richest prize for portraiture. In 2014 he received the judges award for curated artists at the Fort Wayne Realism Biennial. In addition, he has also been a finalist in the Archibald Prize (2012), the Eutick Memorial Still Life Art Prize (2010, 2012) and the Nora Heysen Still Life Art Award (2011). In 2012 he was the recipient of an International Presentation Grant from Arts SA which enabled him to accept an invitation to travel to the United States to exhibit his work in California.
His work is held in numerous private art collections and public institutions around the world.
Eley currently works and resides in Los Angeles, California.
Artist Robin Eley Website
Written by Ieva Elvyra via boredpanda
When you find out that the works of Robin Eley are actually oil paintings, and not photographs, you immediately go back to have another look. It takes a really good eye to actually see the paint strokes: hard as it is to paint people in such a realistic manner, Robin also “wraps” his models into plastic, which makes it all the more impressive.
This Australia-based artist with a British birth certificate and American education spends around 5 weeks on a painting, working around 90 hours a week. Robin says he tries to explore the perception of isolation in the modern world, and the plastic wrap in his pictures works as a medium for this, since “it is something you can see through, but not feel through”.
Contemporary realist robin eley has composed a series oil paintings titled ‘idolatry’. his images beg the audience to take a closer look, as each and every detail — from the creases in the plastic texture to individual strands of hair — seamlessly mimic reality as if they are high-quality photographs. on show at the hill smith gallery in adelaide australia until july 6th, in this second solo exhibition, eley explores societal relationships with material items and aims to expose our frantic devotion to things, which has developed into something of a religious experience. the artist communicates his ideas about physical consumption, and how society’s adoration for materials has become our way to mask external anxieties.
Eley estimates that his paintings take between 2 and 8 weeks to complete, depending on size. his process is lengthy and complex: it includes numerous sketches and thumbnails working out the composition of the piece, photographing his subject, and arranging the photo elements on the computer, before eventually transferring the image to his canvas and painting it.
Robin Eley’s painting is a self-portrait. ‘Growing up as a child of an interracial marriage, I embraced my heritage with a naive sense of pride,’ he says. ‘It was the thing that made me stand out, that made me special. As I grew older and found other ways to distinguish myself, my heritage began to fade in importance and I came to view it as something one simply grew away from. In recent times however, as I consider a family of my own, I’ve come to appreciate that the view looking back is just as important and valuable as the view looking forward.’
‘I have always approached self-portraits as a way of taking inventory, galvanising what I have learned and prescribing a path for the future. In this particular case I was concerned with acknowledging my combined heritage, how it has shaped who I am today, and how it may yet affect my life in the future.
‘Bibliography is painted on a geometrical arrangement of 13 different shapes, 10 of which are hardcover books, custom-bound in Belgian linen. It was important for me to deconstruct the portrait into 13 smaller compositions that can be lifted and separated from the whole. Each book has been carefully selected for its significance to either Australian or Chinese culture and is presented in its entirety. The books I have chosen (left to right, top to bottom) are:
Banjo Patterson, a literary heritage, For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke, The selected poems by Shu Ting, The poems of Wilfred Owen, Continental’s concise English–Chinese dictionary, Quotations from Confucius, The art of war by Sun Tzu, Riders in the chariot by Patrick White, Dream of red mansions by Cao Xueqin and The thorn birds by Colleen McCullough.’
Eley was born in London in 1978 to an Australian father and Chinese mother. In 1981, the family returned to Australia where he completed his secondary education. In 1997 he travelled to the US to attend Westmont College, earning his BA in Fine Arts and captaining the basketball team. His work was recently recognised in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (highly commended runner-up in 2010 and highly commended 3rd place in 2011). His debut solo exhibition Singularity recently concluded at Hill Smith Gallery in South Australia. He now lives in Adelaide with his wife, Rachel.