Cosmetics Exec Sells His Art on Instagram

An artwork by cosmetics executive and Instagram art star Donald Robertson.
Photo: Donald Robertson/Instagram.

Donald Robertson, a co-founder of MAC Cosmetics and executive at Estée Lauder who is also a father of five, is also a wildly popular artist whose work was recently showcased at Eric Firestone Gallery in the Hamptons and has gained him a huge Instagram following of more than 61,000 on his handle @DonaldDrawbertson. Now, he is the subject of an insufferable CBS News segment.

“I wanna be the Pharrell of art,” Robertson says, without a trace of sarcasm. “I wanna be the happy guy. Pharrell I just think is the best.”

Robertson’s slacker expressionist paintings, collages, and mixed media works portray fashion models, celebrities, and Pop art iconography, among other subjects. Or, in the words of the Eric Firestone Gallery’s press release for his show, “#HIGHFUNCTIONINGDAD“:

Robertson mediates on a still point between family and technology. One of a kind and candid images merge with Roberston’s design acumen to capture in an instant the essence of whatever the subject matter is with whimsical moments. His stream of consciousness pervades through mediums such as gaffer tape drawings, acrylic brushstrokes, or found object collages.

“This is a chance for me to go global,” Robertson says. “I don’ t wanna miss out on what’s going on in the world. If you’re not posting about Kanye and Kim’s wedding seconds after it’s happening, you’re sort of like missing the momentum of the whole thing.”

And Robertson is also tapping into the emerging market for art displayed and sold through Instagram. Every original artwork he posts online is also available for purchase through Trendabl.

“The way Andy Warhol would turn to celebrities to be inspired, I turn to suburbia,” Robertson says. “I love a grocery store. There is nothing that makes me happier than a wall of cereal in like a Stop-and-Shop. I like things that have a feeling of Target and that also have a feeling of prestige.”

He concludes on a distinctly Koonsian, crowd-pleasing note. “Having worked for so many years as like a brander,” he says, “I sort of specialize in what people want.”

[h/t Art Market Monitor]

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