Robert Longo burts onto the New York art scene at 25-year-old with "Men in the Cities", his iconic 1983 large-scale charcoal drawings of businessmen posing in uncanny contortions. "I always imagine that I want to make art that is going to kill you, whether it's going to do it visually or physically, I'll take either way."
Robert Longo was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Long Island. He had a childhood fascination with mass media: movies, television, magazines, and comic books, which continue to influence his art. Longo began college at the University of North Texas, in the town of Denton, but left before getting a degree. He later studied sculpture under Leonda Finke, who encouraged him to pursue a career in the visual arts. While in college, Longo and his friends established an avant garde art gallery in their co-op building, the Essex Art Center, which was originally a converted ice factory; the gallery became Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. Through his gallery efforts, Longo met many local and New York City artists. Longo eventually moved to New York City to join the underground art scene of the 1970s.
Although he studied sculpture, drawing remained Longo's favorite form of self-expression. However, the sculptural influence pervades his drawing technique, as Longo's "portraits" have a distinctive chiseled line that seems to give the drawings a three-dimensional quality.
Courtesy: Robert Longo