Robert Minervini Interview - The Hopper Prize

Robert Minervini

Robert Minervini on a practice that incorporates both public art as well as studio painting, his early experiences with drawing & painting, producing thematic bodies of work & the nuances of site specificity.

How did you get into making art?

As a child I loved to draw, I didn’t really enjoy school and the positive affirmation really gave me something I felt I was good at. Over the years I continued to get more interested in drawing and painting and art history. I kept pursing art classes and eventually found my way to Tyler School of Art for my BFA and later the San Francisco Art Institure for my MFA. In during college until graduate school I was painting murals with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, which lead to an interest in public art as well as studio painting.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a massive mural project, in fact it’s the biggest mural I’ve created to date at around 25 x 400′ feet. The mural is being painted by a team of assistants in Philadelphia (as well by myself in my studio in Oakland) on something called poly cloth, which is a movable mural painting substrate and will be installed at the site in Santa Ana, California by Summer 2021.

Like all site-specific / public artworks I try to consider my own interests in art making along with the context of the space.

Robert Minervini

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

I was commissioned by a private developer to create this mural, and like all site-specific / public artworks I try to consider my own interests in art making along with the context of the space the art will exist. The mural Is based on the ecology, history, and invented mythology of the City of Santa Ana.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I tend to work on a themed body of work intended for a final exhibition. In between exhibitions I’ll revisit older works, experiment more, plan the next body of work, or just wonder a bit in the studio. These pauses tend to inform what will come next thematically or technically in the works to come.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

This past year has been difficult and anything but typical. With a young child at home, and two working self-employed parents, it’s been a struggle to maintain a studio practice or any regular schedule for that matter. Recently, there’s been a return to a more predicable shedule so that I can focus on this enourmos mural. A typical day is something like a 9-5, with the possabilty of putting in a couple hours in the evening after our son is in bed.

Who are your favorite artists?

Some current favorites that I’m looking at a lot right now are Matthias Weisher, Avery Singer, Erik Benson, Amelie Bertrand, Marius Bercea, Driss Ouadahi, Daniel Gordon

Artist: Robert Minervini Gallery: Rena Bransten Gallery Photographer: John Janca

Where do you go to discover new artists?

These days since I don’t go out at all I find out about other artists work entirely on Instagram, or perhaps on gallery websites. In the past, I would make more in person gallery and museum visits.

Robert Minervini is an artist based in Oakland, California who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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