About the artist
Robert Steven Connett was born in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. on August 19, 1951. He began drawing and painting as a child and continued making art throughout his adult life. Connett worked as an insurance broker in San Francisco from age 24 to 47. He left the insurance business after he lost his home to a fire in 1995. Connett moved to Los Angeles in 1998 where he was married. After a few failed jobs, he began to create artworks full-time in the year 2004.
He now exhibits and sells his artworks in galleries and museums throughout the planet.
I’m often asked why I make my kind of art, and where I get my ideas. The simplest answer to the first part is that I love what I do. I paint because I enjoy seeing my imagination come to life! Throughout my life, I’ve found a state of deep peaceful concentration while creating art. I can’t attain this any other way. Creating art can be like a port in a storm for me. My art, especially in the beginning decades, was purgative in nature. Meaning to say, that I expressed my personal feelings both good and bad with very little objectivity or self-censorship. My work has grown and gained some open-mindedness through self-examination and the maturing of years. However, it is still a sanctuary that I shape from my imagination. It’s still how I illustrate my feelings about the world, but it’s modified by my wish to create order and beauty. I use my work as a vehicle to take me to another world, one of my own creation. I’m honored to share that world and thrilled that others can relate to it in their own way. The second part of the question is much more difficult to answer. Where do I get my ideas? I’m simply trying to illustrate those ideas. I can’t explain where they come from. They are just there, evolving constantly under an infinitely complex number of influences.
~ Robert S. Connett, 2021
Robert Steven Connett’s beautifully realized visions of an unseen world teeming with vibrant and complex life forms, open windows into a universe that we rarely contemplate and most often simply forget exists. Microscopic biological phenomena of the natural world, within both flora and fauna, and particularly that of oceanic origins, provides Connett with bountiful inspirations and his unbridled passion and colorful imagination ensure his creations rise above the natural and inhabit a sphere somewhere between the familiar and the extraordinary. Connett masterfully brings a sumptuous and bizarre underworld into existence and prompts us to ask questions about our perceptions of the world around us and more importantly about our place within it. – WOW x WOW – Tim Maclean, 2017
Robert Steven Connett is a California artist who takes his current inspiration from biological forms — both flora and fauna, micro and macro, land and ocean dwelling — from which he generates new variations, as though he were painting with recombinant DNA. He is a masterful painter of other-worldly creatures harmoniously swimming along in complex dreamscapes. Intricate geometric patterns make up each new species, meticulously painted with illuminated detail.
– From COLOSSAL 2016
Since he was a child, Robert S. Connett was fascinated by nature. And not just any type of nature, but the tiny worlds that quietly exist without being discovered. They thrive under rocks and under microscopes and Connett was the kid who went out looking for them, bringing home everything from spiders and earwigs to snakes. This perhaps explains the self-taught painter’s equally fascinating worlds he conjures on a canvas, often in painstaking detail. These “underworlds,” as Connett describes them, are often comprised of densely populated organisms. Some look like a droplet of seawater under a microscope. Others resemble a Where’s Waldo version of our amazing animal kingdom. Any could be a small square of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” magnified hundreds of times. The organisms are a combination of accurate depictions based on scientific observation, as well as plucked from the artist’s own mind. They are worlds that Connett himself would want to walk into and we can’t blame him! His most recent work—a total of 7 paintings—will be shown at the upcoming annual Los Angeles Art Show that runs from January 27 – 31, 2016. You’ll find Connett’s work at the Copro Gallery booth in a section aptly titled “Littletopia”. Many of his pieces are also available as prints. ~ From HI FRUCTOSE 2016
The work of Los Angeles based artist Robert S. Connett, featured here on our blog, portrays a dark and bizarre world teaming with microscopic life. In his own words, “a collection of things that I find extremely appealing and engaging. I paint things that enchant me, and I paint because I enjoy seeing my imagination come to life.” His images present rare and overlooked creatures, from aquatic organisms like ciliates, shrimps, and crabs, to a myriad of butterflies and rainbow-colored grasshoppers, that he best describes as miracles of life. Each organism is rendered with excruciating detail, based on studies from his own collection of specimens and books of scientific illustrations, brought back into a vibrant living environment. For the upcoming LA Art Show, coming to Los Angeles on January 27th, Connett has create a new series of acrylic paintings that will be on display at the Copro Gallery booth. Some of the pieces, such as “MICROVERSE II”, are among his largest to date measuring at around 40 by 60 inches, a follow up to a piece created for his 2014 solo exhibition “The MICRO WORLDS of R.S. Connett”. Though overwhelmingly lush and densely populated with decorative life forms, this is not a world that escapes death, as in his painting of a human skull in “Cemetery Flowers”, or plant-like creature taking root in a mummified corpse. However, Connett believes that each life form is destined to regenerate and evolve, and that plants, animals and even inanimate objects can possess an energy which is a form of life. – HI FRUCTOSE ~ 2015
There are artists out there who eschew traditional approaches to drawing but are nonetheless obsessed with detail as a way to express what are often frightening visions of the world in general and humanity in particular. H. R. Giger and Chris Mars spring to mind. Their roots lie in the dreamlike visions of Heironymous Bosch. It is a difficult artistic path. Most who try it fail to develop a unique vision or compelling style and get mired in cliche psychedelia. This kind of work is often driven by direct experiences with drug addiction, insanity or both, which can explain the rarity of finding such artists who also have the discipline to excel. R. S. Connett has become one of those exceptions. – – –
David Carmack Lewis 2010
LIST OF ART SHOWS BOTH GROUP ART SHOWS AND SOLO EXHIBITIONS. ALSO INTERVIEWS GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
1989, June -July: “FORCE OF NATURE” ~ Force-Nordstrom Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1989, October – November – “ANNUAL GROUP SHOW” ~ Artlick gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1990, January – February – Force-Nordstrom Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1990, March – April – “ARTISTS OF SPRING” ~ Artlick gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1990, March – April – “ANNUAL GROUP SHOW” La Luz De Jesus Gallery, los Angeles, Ca.
1990, August – September – “SAN FRANCISCO GROUP EXHIBITION “ ~ Artlick gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1991, January -Artlick gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1991, November – Evans & Lawrence Workspace, Emeryville, Ca.
1995, January – “TORTURES AND TORMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS” ~La Luz De Jesus Gallery, los Angeles, Ca.
2006, December – Gallery opening Group exhibition ~ FISH OUT OF WATER gallery, San Diego Ca.
2008, December – “KNOW, KNOW” exhibition ~ ART BASEL Miami” ~ Murphy Fine Arts, San Diego, Ca.
2009, March – “EAT IT!” Exhibition ~ ECLECTIX Gallery , El Cerrito, Ca.
2009, April – “SAY WHEN” Exhibition ~ Bold Hype Gallery II, Orlando, Fl.
2009, May – “FIGURATIVELY” Group show – Definition Gallery, Baltimore MD.
2009, September – “ON THE BRIGHT SIDE” Group exhibition ~ CAVE Gallery, Venice Beach, CA. 2009, December – “AQUA LYNWOOD ART FAIR” ~ curated by Murphy Fine Arts/Yves Laroche Gallery ~ Miami, FL.
2010, April – “TIKI SHOW” ~ BOLD HYPE gallery II, Orlando, Florida
2010, August – “THINGS TO COME” ~ BOLD HYPE gallery, New York City, New York
2010, September – October, “BLABWORLD No. 1 SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca. 2010, December – January, “Saturnalia” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2011, April, “GIANT ROBOT POST-IT SHOW” ~ Atticus gallery, Barcelona, Spain
2011, September – October, “BLABWORLD No. 2 SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca. 2011, November – “LA LUZ DE JESUS 25 Year anniversary show” ~ La Luz De Jesus Gallery, los Angeles, Ca.
2012, June – July, “BOTANICA” Group show~ Genome Gallery, Charlotte North Carolina
2012, September – November, “Santa Muerte arts festival” ~ SACRED MACHINE gallery, Tucson Arizona
2012, September, “BLABWORLD #3 DREAM ISSUE” release exhibition ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2012, October, “ANOMALIES” ~ A Beinart Surreal Art Collective show ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2012, December – January ~ ” THE ILLUMINATION” Group art exhibition ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2013, January, “13” A Group exhibition ~ Martin Diaz Gallery, Tucson Arizona
2013, March, “FUTUROLOGY” Group exhibition ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2013, August – September ~ “COPRO GALLERY 20th anniversary exhibition” ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2013, March ~ “KINDRED” Group show ~ BOLD HYPE gallery, New York City, New York
2013, December -January ~ “ESPIONAGE” show ~ ART BASEL WEEK, Miami Beach Florida, Copro Nason Gallery
2014, September ~ “9th Annual BLAB SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery,
Santa Monica, Ca.
2014, August ~ Suggestivism Chronology ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2015, February – April ~ “20 YEARS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF JUXTAPOSE”~ Los Angeles municipal Art Gallery
2015, March ~ “LALUZAPALOOZA” ~ Gallery, los Angeles, Ca.
2015, October – “Beyond Eden” – Copro Nason Gallery/ Thinkspace Gallery Co-Presentation Exhibition
2016, June-July – “Destinesia” Exhibition – Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn New York
2016, January – LA ART SHOW – Los Angeles convention center / Copro Nason Gallery
2016, February – March – Beinart Surreal Art Show ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2016, September – “11th Annual BLAB SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2016, September – “SMALL PAINTINGS” Exhibition – Beinart Gallery, Victoria Australia
2017, June, “Lightning Bolts & Little sparks” – (online) – WOW x WOW Arts
2017, July – “HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE” 40th Annual Art Show – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2017, September – “12th Annual BLAB SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2017, July 1- 23 – “CREATURES” Exhibition – Beinart Gallery, Victoria Australia
2018, March – April, “Animal Kingdom” – William Back Fine Arts, North Hampton, Mass.
2018, July, “Summer group exhibition” – ARCH ENEMY art gallery, Philadelphia, PA.
2018, September, “Crimes on canvas exhibition” @ the “Life is Beautiful festival” – M Modern Gallery, las Vegas, NV.
2018, October, “CHIMERIA” Dreams & Divinities art exhibition ~ Château de Comper-en-Brocéliande, Sedan, France
2018, November, “13th Annual BLAB SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2019, December through March 2020, “UNDYING TRADITIONS: MEMENTO MORI” Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Ill.
2020, Sept.12 – Oct. 3, “15th Auunual BLAB! Show” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2021, February, “Ritual Deluxe” – (online) – WOW x WOW Arts
2021, July – Aug, LA ART SHOW – Los Angeles convention center / Copro Nason Gallery
2021, May, “World’s 1st Physical NFT exhibition” – Super Chief Gallery – New York City, NY.
2021, September – “16th Annual BLAB SHOW!” – Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
1984 – Squids, San Francisco, Ca. (Closed early due to objectionable content)
1993 – October – “R.S. Connett Now” Harrison Street Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.
1997, May – “ The Art of R.S. Connett” ~ Rita Dean Gallery, San Diego
2014, February, Solo exhibition – “MICROWORLDS” ~ Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, Ca.
2019, Nov1 – Dec1, “MICROWORLDS II” ~ Solo exhibition – La Luz De Jesus Gallery, los Angeles, Ca.