VIDEO: Robert Longo on Why He Digs Ab Ex and Moby-Dick

 

 

An original member of the “Pictures” generation, Robert Longo recalls that during the 19th century, painters who wanted to have their works photographed for books would prepare their paintings for that process by making black and white copies of their own paintings. In a similar vein, his “Gang of Cosmos” show at Metro Pictures presents Longo’s charcoal drawings of works by some of the biggest names in Abstract Expressionism from the years 1948–1963. Longo’s “Strike the Sun” exhibit at Petzel Gallery takes its title from a phrase spoken by Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick. Melville’s novel, the artist says, “is kind of like the genetic code of America for me.”