Robert Lardus is vegetarian, buddhist, and abstractionist. All three factors combined are rare where he comes from: the deep Midwest of the United States of America. He studied painting and then went on a long journey through Asia. This is where he started his transformation. What we see now is a full-grown artist submerged in transformative nature, influenced by biological processes, anamorphic shapes.
Robert Lardus Art Statement
In some paintings, one can find search for the expressive capacities of black. Robert Lardus is fascinated by how black captures other colors and places them in relief, as well as by a certain mysticism coming from his way of thinking. A silent secret, how he interprets forms and finds a place for them in his art. Much remains on the side of the viewer: interpretations of mystical shapes and colors leave the onlooker in a state of uncertainty.
Human figure as an icon, symbol, sign. Humanography performed by Robert Lardus refers to the art of calligraffiti. It is true that the artist does not use typical calligraphy, typography and graffiti. He creates new symbols based on simplified drawings of the conventional figure of a human being: Calligraffiti in Humanography, by using simple iconic forms referring to letters. In this way, the artist obtains a completely new, wider message. The figures have been changed aesthetically, they go beyond the literal meaning of human drawings. The characters or their groups form complex visual compositions. For Robert Lardus, the reference to calligraffiti is an aesthetic and intellectual experience. It allows him to express himself uncontrollably. This is definitely more than the traditional use of icons and signs. It is a way to create a completely new symbolism.
Symbols are bent, soft, as if molded from liquid clay. Each form is a unit, a unique figure. Through the coherence of forms, the image takes on the features of an abstract symbolic combination. Although Robert Lardus is a conscious representative of calligraffiti, he breaks away from general principles and allows himself to transform and deconstruct human-letters in a very creative way. He does not limit himself to using figure drawings – he manipulates color and textures. He very rarely uses a brush prefering to spill, soften, rinse them. Using characters from your own dictionary definitely goes beyond simple transformation. He creates rhythmic visual compositions, a new symbol language, variable and open.
The technique itself is characterized by contrasting combinations of colors and forms. In Robert Lardus paintings symbols become an image and further an abstraction. On the other hand, the shapes refer to complex letters. Humanography is in a sense pseudo-calligraffiti: it is a complete abstraction in which the characters do not create an unambiguous record. The content of the message is left to the recipient’s free interpretation.
Robert Lardus’ works are paradoxical. The form is ambiguous and the colors surprising. The multitude of elements creates coherent images that combine tradition and modernity. Drawing, due to the technique used by the artist, is precise but at the same time full of spontaneity. A clear theme and simplicity of composition characterize every work. The subject seems metaphorical to the recipient. The artist moves from individual shapes to a larger created image: a wide, often open composition. For Robert, the human-figure alphabet in Humanography is the basis for converting the image into a completely new form. The composition is intended to give the viewer specific reflection on the human condition. It is a story about a human being in a group, community, interacting with others. It is the effacing of the individual to the advantage of the group. Multilevel, multilayered structures show the complexity of an individual’s life in a community.
Robert Lardus Credo
In my work, I try to capture what arises in my mind: thoughts, memories, dreams, fears. There are not always beautiful, I often want to depict ugliness. They are not always valuable, because often they arise from low motivations. For me, painting is a dialogue between the artist and his work. I can start the picture with an idea, still the finale can be an absolute surprise to me. It is best to listen to your inner you instead of imposing on the image in advance what it should look like.