I’ve found it hard to describe my work better or more flatteringly than Henry Adams, Ph.D., the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor or Art History at Case Western Reserve University did in the preface of my 2014 monograph, Robert C Jackson: Paintings. There he said, “What’s startling about his work is the sense of mix: of sophisticated and naïve, of high modernist art and 19th century trompe l’oeil and folk art, of witty philosophical mind games and silly popular jokes. Notably, this is also the sort of strange mix of sensibilities one finds in the best American novelists, such as Mark Twain.” I’ll embrace that and add that I aim to create work that engages the viewer and invites them to be a participant in the story.
Primarily, the paintings you stand before are still lifes, where most of the objects were set up in my studio and observed from life. Of course, many had to be done in parts, somewhat of assemblages as the food items would never last long enough for me to finish the painting, balloon dogs deflate, and stacks fall over. Everything in my paintings are static, yet I love to set the viewers minds racing and imagining activity. My objects are always more than the objects themselves. They are actors for my stories, musings, and dialogs. As the artist, I’ve set the scene, much like Act 1 of a play, and the viewer now completes the story. Over the years I have enjoyed hearing from people as they tell me Act 2 and 3. At that point my intention no longer matters, I’ve pulled the viewer into the creative process and my job is done.
— Robert C. Jackson