Rob Moler Male Art in Oil Paintings
Rob Moler earned his MFA in painting from Radford University, Radford, Virginia, in 1989. A native Virginian, the artist lived in Kentucky for over 25 years. Rob moved to High Point, North Carolina, in 2019 with his artist partner, Cecil. Together they share a studio in their home and visit local galleries and museums for inspiration.
Rob has taught visual art on the private school and college levels, has managed and operated a college gallery, and directed his own gallery for many years which showcased the works of American artists and craftsmen. While his gallery was in operation, Rob organized over 50 regional, national and international art exhibitions for the local community. The artist’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been included in both university and private collections.
Having earned his second master’s degree in social work in 2013, Rob has most recently been employed as a therapist in the Kentucky public school system and encouraged children and youth to explore their emotions through expressive therapy.
"To me, painting is therapeutic. Painting helps me resolve personal problems, manage my emotions, and strengthens my sense of purpose and self-worth. This series of oil paintings, called "THE LATIN SERIES", consists of layers of dark values with contrasting areas of illuminated male figures, statuary portraits, flower imagery, hummingbirds and small objects suspended in surreal space. I use these images symbolically to help me tell the story I want to share with my audience, much like creating chapters or characters within a book. My themes include the sensuality of the flesh, the pain of broken relationships, the social injustice of homophobia, religious opposition to same-sex marriage, and the shallow nature of today's youth culture. Like a mirror held to one's face, my male figurative work reflects the struggle between human aspiration and the transitory nature of human existence. Borrowing from the artisans from antiquity, I have chosen the autonomous male nude to express the collective human condition, an ideal image projected through the ages but never quite realized. It is within his "vulnerable virility" that we make our own cognitive connections with the inevitable process of aging, dying and death.
In my figurative work, I usually incorporate some sort of mask or substitute an object to cover the face of the subject to lift him onto a symbolically higher level of self-awareness and consciousness. By masking the figure, the internal male psyche rather than the individual physical portrait is emphasized which brings further content to the composition. My paintings are not quickly consumed visually and take some focused effort to mentally unpack. I encourage my viewers to meet me halfway by asking themselves to think about the relationships and connections these symbolic objects have with the subject. How do these visual puzzle pieces fit together? What can I take away that I can connect with or is meaningful to me?"