On December 1, GO Gallery opened the second solo exhibition by Robert J. Halls.
After the unprecedented success in 2016 of ‘F ** K Mickey’, his work gets a sequel in Minnie’s Revenge:
I F****D Mickey
Robert J. Halls was trained as a couturier, he studied at the London School of Fashion and designed costumes for stage, film, TV and music stars and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
After a successful career, he became frustrated by the fashion industry and started drawing and painting. This passion created the ultimate career change.
After completing a course at the Putney School of Art and the Open University he became a full-time artist and his work was exhibited in galleries and art fairs in London, Brighton and Amsterdam.
Both Mickey and Minnie Mouse were born 90 years ago in 1928 from the brain of Walt Disney. Mickey can be seen everywhere in art, but his girlfriend Minnie is much less visible, but she did become the muse of Robert J. Halls. Halls soon started making portraits of her.
The paintings of the old masters he had seen and studied in the Rijksmuseum, The National Gallery, the Prado and the palaces of Versailles, formed the basis of his own work. He loved the hidden meanings in the paintings of famous women and religious icons. The techniques that they applied to the canvas in oil paint hit him the most and were an eye-opener for him.
He copied paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Francois Boucher and other masters and portrayed Minnie in the capacity of Marie (Minnie) Antoinette and Queen Elizabeth I and other legendary types from history. The frames have also been carefully chosen and are an indispensable part of the artworks.
While painting the works for the exhibition, Robert realizes that Minnie’s body is black, that she has a white face and wears white gloves. This reminded him of the Black & White Minstrels, white and Afro-American actors performed during the Minstrel shows with black face paint (blackface) to mock Afro-Americans. They were popular from the 1930s to the 70s. Walt Disney created Mickey & Minnie in the 1930s at the height of the popularity of the Minstrels and at the same time some critics accused him of racism, which he always denied.
The paintings by Robert J. Halls are hilarious and also a commentary on racism at this time in our society.
Opening: Saturday, December 1, 17:00 – 20:00.
in the presence of the artist.
Exhibition up to and including January 12, 2019
The GO Gallery is open between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
For more information about the exhibition, a pleasant interview with the artist, or visual material, please contact us.