Rob MacIntosh Biography

Rob Macintosh displays enormous diversity in his work. Within the broad divisions of wildlife, landscape and seascape Rob explores a multiplicity of subject matter ranging from the signature rural and urban architecture of South Africa (available at the Ferriera gallery in Bryanston , Johannesburg) and America to sweeping compositions of the deserts, mountains and agricultural heartland of the region. Rob is a self taught artist which has tended to liberate him from much of the formality of fine art which in turn has laid the foundation of Rob’s free spirited journey of personal creative expression.
At the root of Rob Macintosh’s work is his passion for art, for the outdoors and for the work and interpretation of many of his principal influences. These include Carl Brenders, Terry Isaac, Ray Swanson and photo realist Richard Estes among many others.
Rob works predominantly in oils but enjoys merging this medium with acrylic in a mixed media style that has become his own. As a child Rob displayed his artistic sophistication by forswearing crayons for a pencil which began a fascination for fine detail that is also a signature of his work.
In the early stages of Rob’s career his work tended to center around landscape and seascape, but in due course he began to experiment with realism in his treatment of wildlife subjects. A strict adherence to anatomical accuracy has always been a feature of Rob’s work, and one that has, as his art has matured, developed into an uncanny sense of form and detail in work that suffers nothing as a consequence in feeling, humor and simplicity.
Thanks to this preoccupation with detail Rob’s work has drifted from hyper-realism to photo-realism. This, of course, fermented an interest in other practitioners of photo-realism which is clearly evident in Robs later work. The question is naturally asked that if one is striving for photo-realism why not simply opt for a photograph? To Rob, as with all gifted artists, the journey is as important as the destination. The challenge of achieving perfection is vital to Rob’s motivation, and no doubt the quality of his work owes much to this.
Rob Macintosh holds a respected place among South African and American artists, although his work has an international essence, reflecting the wildlife and landscapes of many regions. With a maturity that comes from years of experience and experimentation, Rob’s work has both a classic and contemporary flavor in a manner both distinct and striking, and yet subtle and understated
This is a style of art that evolved in the United States during the 1970s from a pop art root, and largely as a reaction against minimalism and abstract expressionism. Usually examples of photorealism make use of photographic material as a basis of creating work which is a tacit acceptance of the camera and photographs as legitimate sources which is, in effect, an acceptance of Modernism. The end result is intended to be an intense expression of realism as an advance on a two dimensional photographic image
Photorealism as a movement almost invites hyperrealism as a developmental advance. This style attempts to impose an additional visual dynamic upon a concept of photorealism allowing for illusion and expression. Both schools are based on the artist’s objective of articulating a visual symbol at least as well, and in many cases better, than can be achieved with the mechanical eye of a camera.
Rob Macintosh, perhaps thanks to his multidisciplinary approach to art, merges photorealism and hyperrealism throughout the spectrum of his work, while always maintaining a traditionalists emphasis on craftsmanship. He is a master at the creation of a three dimensional composition from a two dimension source, which allows the viewer to play an impartial role as an observer within every scene…
Throughout his career Rob has clung to his individuality and has as a consequence carved an important place for himself in the field of art. It is his belief that people fundamentally strive for an understanding of their environment that inspires him towards a realistic yet interpretative expression of that environment…
Rob uses photographs as a source, but adds a living energy that cannot be found in the original photograph. Robs brushstrokes are seamlessly executed in a manner that almost obliterates any evidence of a human touch. He crams his compositions with visual effects and a surfeit of light and mood. His work is classified as photorealist, but as an accomplished practitioner of his art, a good painter will always remain a good painter…

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