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Robert Longo – Hyperrealist Extraordinaire

Robert Longo Men-in-the-Cities COLLAGE

Robert Longo – “Men in the Cities”


Robert Longo (born on January 7th, 1953) came of age during the Vietnam War, a time when a few important photographs dramatically changed the American zeitgeist forever.

In particular, Longo was influenced by the provocative photo of Kent State protesters being shot. Longo was a friend of a fallen protestor featured in the most famous photos from the time.

This one event, and the power of the photograph to capture it and transmit it around the world, helped define the artist’s relationship to his world and his own creative medium.

As an artist, his work is inherently political, driving at the profound social confrontations going on at any moment. It’s part of what gives his pieces the urgency and high stakes that have defined his body of work.


The Early Career of Robert Longo

Longo decided to pursue art while in college. As someone with dyslexia, he relied on a sports scholarship to attend. But he discovered his voice and sense of purpose in art class.

He bounced around to different institutions, beginning at University of North Texas but eventually finding his way to Buffalo State College. There, he met Cindy Sherman who would go on to become a notable collaborator of Longo’s and one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century in her own right.

In fact, it was Longo who pushed Sherman