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Robert Deyber (born August 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticut) is an American artist most known for literal visual portrayals of cliches, euphemisms and idioms from the English and other languages. The San Francisco Examiner in 2009 described him as a "pop surrealist" whose style "has appeal for new as well as experienced collectors."
His work relates to that of Thomas Cole and Frederic Church of the Hudson River School, surrealists like Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, naive painter Henri Rousseau, the colorists Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall, and Andy Warhol.
Deyber paints his own scenes from the prose that peppers the English lexicon. His works range from literal translations of fanciful sayings to kitschy depictions of everyday terminology.
Robert grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut - his mother a talented portrait artist and fashion model who died when Deyber was sixteen, his father Robert Deyber Sr. a real estate broker and POW, survivor of the Bataan Death March.
He began painting and drawing in his teens, and continued to develop a style that was original and surreal, drawing inspiration from the cultures that surrounded him as he lived in various parts of the country from New York City to San Francisco. Deyber eventually wound up in Perugia and Milan, Italy where he studied and observed the works of Giotto di Bondone and other Italian painters.
His early work from the 1980s and 1990s involves work that he self-describes as neo-surrealism or surreal American mythology. While he continued to develop and show his work, he was an executive in the airline industry which allowed him to travel all over the world exposing himself to art in many museums. He continued for twenty years to exhibit his work in the Boston area.
After leaving the airline industry in 2001, Deyber moved to Atlanta, Georgia to be closer to his siblings. It was at that time that he began to focus all this time on his artistic career and began exhibiting his work in the surrounding areas. With much success his work began to grow in popularity and he soon was represented in many surrounding and distant states.
By 2004, Deyber had been selling works around the globe and had collectors in 27 countries. At the time he was self-published and selling original paintings and prints through many galleries across the country and was routinely featured in the Guild Artful Home catalog. He opened a contemporary fine art gallery in Roswell, Georgia - "Iridium Gallery", which featured his own works and those of about a dozen other artists. He later sold the gallery to a new owner and began selling works directly from his studio and website and other larger galleries in the Atlanta area.
After singer songwriter Tom Petty and his wife Dana began collecting his work, Petty commissioned Deyber for the artwork of his new album, "Highway Companion", he was going to be releasing in 2006.
In 2006, Deyber exhibited his work at the New York International Art Expo in March of that year, gaining significant attention for his work and gathering dozens of galleries to represent his work. After meeting the owner of Chalk & Vermilion at the Expo, Robert has been exclusively represented by the firm and its network of galleries across the country, Martin Lawrence Galleries.
In 2008, Deyber moved back to Connecticut.
Deyber's preferred medium of artistic expression is painting, however he has worked on three-dimensional sculpture pieces and has many sketches and plans for installation work.
Deyber's work has a strong following in the entertainment and music industry.
- Andrew Samuels, "Pop surrealist Robert Deyber comes to town." San Francisco Examiner, July 16, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009
- Coraggio, Jack, "Iconoclastic in Litchfield", Litchfield County Times 12/11/08
- Tom Petty, Peter Bogdanovich, "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers." Chronicle Books, 2007, page 224. ISBN 978-0-8118-6201-1 . Retrieved July 24, 2009
- J. Sébastien Chicoine, "3E ALBUM SOLO,Tom Petty — Highway Companion." Canoé, July 27, 2006.Said "Le ,5 de ma cote pour ce disque va à la superbe pochette illustrée d’une peinture de Robert Deyber." Retrieved July 24, 2009
- Deyber, Robert. "A Language All His Own". Jenkintown Press, 2008.