The Atomic Bob Paintings (1987-90) followed the somewhat static adventures of the eponymous character, who seemed especially memorable to viewers. It was the Bobs that got me into the May Show and the Cleveland magazines. People would ask me what’s new with Bob and so on. The function of Bob was to be an unwilling witness--he was just there. Try as he might to avoid situations, he was more or less forced to look at life. He acquired a couple of companions. The first was Myrtle the Magnificent, a guardian angel fallen to earth, who now worked as a magician’s assistant. The second was Astroboy, the Japanese animated cartoon from the sixties about a robot, whom I liked for his Pinocchio desires to be a real boy. Between them, they posed for numerous paintings as a sort of dystopian-times family unit. I was trying to avoid a narrative, as I thought that was not a painterly concern. So, sorry, there is really no story line. At the time of the Atomic Bobs I switched to canvas from board and was really able to loosen up my brush work.
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