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Robert J. Brawley began his career as an abstract expressionist painter, but his interest shifted to detailed still life artwork.

His attention to the many tiny aspects of an image that make it appear realistic is obvious and his work continues to capture interest.

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“I don’t think I’m a realist….I’m an illusionist.” – R.J. Brawley

Abstract expressionism is the kind of art Jackson Pollock was famous for. An art style born in the 40’s, it is the first purely American style of note to come into existence.

Robert’s shift from such a free-flowing art form as abstract expressionism (characterized by its formlessness) to the strict-natured world of still life art was monumental. The two are diametrically opposed, aren’t they?

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“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.”
― Shannon L. Alder

It would seem Brawley’s experiences studying his craft in Italy and admiring Netherlandish art changed his interests pretty drastically.

Self-portraits proved his most popular works; some of which now adorn the walls of such prestigious establishments as the National Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Read our article on Ralph Goings’s Art