Art and sculpture have been a life long passion for Robert Cantor. He has studied with Alan Kaprow (Rutgers University), Mogens Moller (Royal College of Copenhagen), Jesus Mendes (Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende), and Jack Kreutzer (Loveland, Colorado). He has enjoyed continuous representation in art galleries in California. His prize-winning work has been collected throughout the United States; featured in the 2005 spring issue of “Direct Art Magazine”, and awarded a coveted place in 2006’s “Best Artists of California”. Bob Cantor has been a clinical psychologist in San Francisco since 1973. He was an Associate Professor at UCSF and has been in private practice for over thirty years. He has also published two books: “And A Time To Live” (1980, Harper and Row, nominated and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) and a novel, “Of Struggle and Flight” (1990, Little Viking).
“My work always begins with the human figure. I create these figures, often stylized, in the hope that through movement, kinetic tension, the exaggeration of form, or the sheer beauty of line, some thoughtful and heartfelt aspect of human experience will be reflected. For me, the most moving of all sculptural forms are those that capture the psychological ambiguities, emotions, and hidden meanings of everyday life.
Some of the collections have more specialized themes:
The “Anatomy of Melancholy” series consists of eleven pieces that portray the reflective nature of this familiar bittersweet experience. They start with the figurative, become more stylized in nature, and finally evolve into more abstract forms.
The “Secret Obsessions” series consists of six bronze sculptures in which I play with the concepts of persona, shame, loss, and exposure. The images emerged quite spontaneously but in making these forms, I’ve then tried to capture a distorted, sometimes humorous, but always faithful depiction of human character and experience; as in a dream when someone appears strange but recognizable, usually because some essence or private obsession is exposed. There is no doubt that working with people for three decades as a clinical psychologist has influenced these images and ideas.
The latest series, “The Transported”, is an attempt to capture those rare moments of life when we have an extraordinary experience of some greater meaning or understanding. Art, love, children, nature, drugs, sex, meditation, purposeful work, and ecstatic dance are just some of the things that can induce such transcendent states. This series of stylized sculptures attempts to portray the spirit of these moments.
In making all of these sculpted forms, my desire is to arouse something visceral; to comfort, to induce a chuckle, to invite reflection, and on occasion, to startle, to make the hairs stand up on your neck.”