Robert Longo, ‘Robert Longo: a Commission’, 2015, ICI Annual Benefit & Auction 2015

Estimated value: PRICELESS

A meeting with Robert Longo, one of the preeminent artists of our time, will culminate in a beautifully peaceful, moving, and unique drawing. Give Longo a photograph of your child, or grandchild (or nephew, or niece) who is 8 years old or younger, and he will personally create an ink and charcoal drawing in his signature hyper-realistic style.

The work will be approximately 15 x 21 inches.

Image rights: Study for Maia, 2010, ink and charcoal on vellum / Courtesy of the artist

About Robert Longo

Robert Longo burst onto the New York art scene as a brash 25-year-old with “Men in the Cities,” his iconic 1983 large-scale charcoal drawings of businessmen posing in uncanny contortions. “I always imagine that I want to make art that is going to kill you,” he said in 1984. “Whether it’s going to do it visually or physically, I’ll take either way.” Longo works and reworks his charcoal into thick-textured surfaces, giving his velvety drawings deep, blackened expanses and sharply contrasting whites; his forms are at once representational and softly elusive. Having been fascinated with popular culture as a child, Longo centers his practice on transposing images and the resulting transformation of meaning, linking him with the Pictures Generation. “An artist should know art history,” he says. “Shock value only lasts so long.” His recent works have included series depicting women in burkas, ocean waves, nuclear explosions, views of Sigmund Freud’s apartment, and zoo animals in cages.

American, b. 1953, Brooklyn, New York, based in New York, New York