I was born in Arkansas in December 1981, and grew up in California. The move west to be a part of the booming aircraft industry and the chance for economic security represented the American Dream to my parents. It was an intriguing environment to observe, and I absorbed everything around me. I was an active child and enjoyed playing sports, playing with Legos, and simply drawing. I was eager, curious, and quite content to see more, look more, and draw more. As a young child, I drew portraits of people I encountered in my day-to-day life. Cartoons, comic books, and caricatures were some of my first artistic inspirations. I became a life-long people-watcher, and a very good listener. I enjoy observing how people interact with the world in their own unique ways.
I spent many of my summers after school was out on road trips to Las Vegas, Laughlin, Big Bear, Silver Lake, Salton Sea, and Palm Springs. The final destination was almost always Lee's Ridge, Arkansas which was a source of abundance for my eyes to see and interpret, and for my body to experience. In the rural south, where my family is from, I experienced nature on an epic scale. I was able to swim in rivers and lakes, fish, hunt, cut down trees, clear fields, and endure insect bites; most importantly, surrounded by family. Nature has always had a profound influence on me. Consequently, most of my art portrays human interaction with nature. From the smallest insect at ground level, to turtles, snakes, and rocks; to treetops, birds, clouds, and constant change, comprehending the world around me is of the utmost importance.
I have always had a love affair with birds. My new series of paintings and sculpture uses them as a tool of understanding. This body of work, entitled "Ornithology”, which is the study of birds, is a series of works exploring what is not revealed about people on the surface and the language used to describe them. I want this work to tell a story about the human body and soul, with birds as a vehicle of understanding. The ability to fly has always been a dream of human beings and my art questions that idea. Because humans do not have wings, I hope some of this work helps and inspires people to mentally fly.
Since 2016 I have been freelancing as a prop sculptor.
Robert Lewis Yancy III
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