> I opted out of group play time in kindergarten and drew airplanes and trees instead on that awful craft paper with those big clunky broken crayons. By the third grade I drew the best tree in the entire grade. By the fourth grade I was building model cars, airplanes and won the hobby contest at the local library. In the summer of '67 I took watercolor classes taught by a hippie who drove the students to a peaceful vista in his hot, rusty Rambler. In the ninth grade I was lucky enough to have Richard Jarman as my art teacher. I was allowed to work on my own interpretation of the class projects. Paint, light boxes, dimensional cities of the future. Wonderful freedom. Somewhere in this period regular visits back home to Cincinnati by my uncle Marcus Ratliff from New York opened my eyes. Posters for NY gallery shows for Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and the likes of Jim Dine were delivered with each visit. Mr. Jarman was right. Art can be anything you want to make. > At Walnut hills High School, that temple of left wing, radical thought and high achieving contributors to American culture I took art history classes as well as studio classes. I took an interest in photography. Never one with the patience for the exactness of figure or object drawing, I figured the camera was a pretty good alternative. I built a darkroom for black and white processing and printing in my basement way before digital photography was even an idea. > College took me the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning as a graphic design major. What a weird time: disco was dying out, punk was coming of age and Swiss influenced design was the preferred school of thought by my professors. > As a student, I had co-op intern jobs with studio photographers and design shops. The magic of lighting, composition plus first hand looks into the business end of offset printing presses and the discovery of the dot. > After graduation in 1980 I went to work for a former design professor and his partner in small design studio. Ahh, the real world at last. After a year of trying to conquer the world with logo design, I moved on to work in an advertising agency as a designer. Art took on movement and sound in the form of television and radio commercials. I did my share of newspaper ads for banks with toaster give-aways too. > Mid eighties, after three jobs and a year of freelance I landed with a boutique ad agency. Copy, art and idea all merged and made sense. The ad agency lived on with me at the creative and ownership helm and several name changes until the fall of 2012. Too many logos, ads, commercials and brand inventions to begin to calculate. > Several years ago I took studio space at Pendleton Art Center. I have room to fling paint, stack canvas and be messy and create. > Fulfilled a lifelong heart pang and began teaching Design at Cincinnati State College. Ongoing art classes at the Art Academy Cincinnati in drawing and darkroom keep me fresh, but remind me that exactness is not my comfort zone in drawing or painting. > I easily arrived in the world of abstract painting. Comfortable here. Getting better and evolving with each painting. Photography and drawing are natural extensions for me. Freedom in fast charcoal sketches and thoughtful in-camera compositions with a variety of cameras and formats. Enjoy a walk through my gallery, please get in touch if you’d like more information.
> Formally speaking: I'm Robbie Kemper, American artist, born 1957, Cincinnati, Ohio.