Robert Longo, ‘Untitled (Janet from the Men in the Cities series)’, 1981-2016, Roseberys

Published by Texte zur Kunst, Robert Longo's Men in the Cities drawings were inspired by a scene in Fassbinder's experimental noir The American Soldier, wherein a character who is shot appears suspended in a sublime moment of violence. Here, Longo contributes to Texte zur Kunst's edition program with a piece directly related to this series, distilling Men in the Cities (and the innumerable images it spawned) into a single photograph selected from the set he shot to produce the original drawings. The photo, featuring a friend of the artist, was taken on Longo's roof around 1980, a newly deindustrialized Manhattan skyline defining the horizon line. Unframed. In original packing as issued.In good original condition as issued.

Signature: signed dated 1981-2016 and numbered 36/100 in black pen

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