Rob Redding, a Atlantan living in New York, is a constructivist expressionistic (ConEx) abstract artist with more than 25 years of painting experience and a growing international profile. From an unlikely start, selling professionally in the abstract art world at the age of 12, he has shown and sold his trademark Smear paintings from Brussels Belgium to the bayou's of Louisiana.
The son of an Baptist minister and a school teacher, Redding began drawing at seven and his professional art career doing imitations of Jackson Pollock at age 12. He credits his older sister Keena Hunt with taking him to see art at Little 5 Points in Atlanta, an artistically rich community; his mother, who had a great deal of artistic talent, and his third grade art teacher, who encouraged him. "I recall showing and selling my art work at the Fayette County (GA) Old Courthouse Art Show when I was a child," he said. "Like many who struggle toward any type of achievement, success in life is not about one big break but a series of small ones."
A little more than a decade later, in 2000, he branched into his own artistic style of "Smear Painting" - a vexing mix of colors and psychedelic works. "I went back to a place that I found myself in when I was a child in my garage studio. I recalled that I created a red, white and yellow painting that I thought was worth re-exploring," he said.
He started establishing Smear painting with the "Black Series" in 2003. There were seven 30" x 40" inch works of one primary color engulfed by a black vortexes. The next year he pushed the values of Neoplasticism with a signature work and other supporting works. During the same time he created a "Fractured" series of paintings, taking Pollock's style and adding Smeared backgrounds and interrupted lines. These works would gain the attention of the Washington, D.C. art community, where he was living at the time. "It is always an event anytime Rob Redding's smear paintings are featured," wrote John Blee, a respected critic and artist. Blee's review came after Redding landed among the top 10 on respected art collector Philip Barlow's "Pick List." His is works have also been included in the independent film "Art House."
After a five year break, just after Redding went back to school to finish his degree in 2009, he began Smearing on aluminum foil. These works were exhibited in shows in Monroe Louisiana, where they were created, and in a four story, more than 30 painting solo show in Atlanta's Castleberry Hill community in 2011.
In June 2013, Redding made a major leap when he moved to Brussels Belgium where he picked up residency at Discover Contemporary Art in the city's artistic hub. He established a constructivist expressionistic (ConEx) style while traveling through Saint-Gilles in Brussels. This is where expressionism meets constructivism. The style blends his smeared style with reductive geometric methods. Inspired by a splash of Pollock, the smears of Richter, the constructivism of Mondrian and the tangents of Twombly his new style debuted in color as "Deconstruction" paintings alongside Ben Heine at Discover Contemporary Art in January 2014. He later refers to the paintings displayed during this time as his first ConEx paintings.
In February 2014, he moved back to America and obtained his Master in Arts from Marshall in Huntington West Virginia in December 2015. While in Huntington, he began working on a ConEx Black on White series in January 2016.
In the fall of 2018, he held his controversial "BIG BLACK ̶C̶O̶C̶K̶ CANVAS: SIZE matters – in ART!" show at NoHo M55 Gallery. Redding said "themes of size as it relates to race are so important in the LGBTQ+ and straight communities, just as size and the debate around blackness - in use of color and participation by people of color - are important in the artistic community. This show unapologetically tackles those themes."
NYC art critic Per Larson, who in the past has compared the work to James Baldwin and called the art "iconic", agreed saying viewers of his "BIG BLACK ̶C̶O̶C̶K̶ CANVAS: SIZE matters – in ART!" show will be overwhelmed with "technical wizardry to grab his interest, and meander around within the square without time, and without a mind to get in the way. Viewing at last with his gut."... "It's pure Warhol and Maplethorp."
Black Star News wrote of the BBC show: "Constructivist Expressionist painter Redding breaths new life into geometric shape with radical reductive smearing of thrown pain. Redding’s art."
What's more, New York Art Beat also covered the BBC show and in 2017 noted his "trademark" style. Out Magazine covered his first juried art show in NYC, which showcased "Circle Jerk" in NYC. "Circle Jerk" has appeared in Art News, AM New York, Chelsea Now, Express and Gay City newspapers.
Redding talent does not begin and end with art. He is also a professor, author, journalist and nationally syndicated radio host. He teaches at several universities in New York City. He has been featured in Upscale magazine; won an ADDY award; named one of "The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts in America" by Talkers magazine; profiled as an "Industry Leader" in radio by Allaccess.com; and has received a proclamation from the Atlanta City Council for his work. His award-winning Web site, ReddingNewsReview.com, is a leading source for black news on the Internet. He has won an award from the Associated Press and three consecutive Black Web Awards.