The Art of Robert G. Fishman

The Art of Robert G. Fishman

Robert G. Fishman, PhD, is a husband, father, grandfather, retired anthropologist, retired educator and an emerging contemporary artist. Fishman's paintings of peoples, figures and everyday life, represent the melding together of the artistic and ethnographic. According to Fishman, both artists and ethnographers train themselves to view life as an observer. Dr. Fishman combines his background in anthropology with his unique style of art to give us a glimpse at how he observes everyday images. His impressionistic paintings catch a moment in time and invite the viewer to share his personal expression of either a public or private moment in everyday culture, experiences that we all take for granted.

His paintings are familiar to the viewer. They represent the everyday experiences that make up our lives; waiting on line at the deli, sitting in a crowded restaurant, a walk on the beach, playing dominos in a public park, as well as the very personal moments that make up our collective experiences. We share the moment when a new mother is cradling her infant, the great grandmother meeting her great-grandchild for the first time, and in one painting that dreaded ride in the funeral limousine. The wedding guests gives us a glimpse into the lives of children sizing each other up for the first time. We see a family waiting at a bar for a table or attending Thanksgiving dinner with new friends. All these experiences are familiar yet unique. They are the everyday moments that create the memories and experiences that add importance to our lives. His paintings bridge the gap between the mundane and the extraordinary.

In his African series, Fishman provides us with an ethnographic experience. He shares four distinct images that seem exotic but are actually part of everyday life among the Masai, a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The paintings include Masai warriors entering a market from the bush, a weekly marketplace, Masai women dancers in their village and an ancient woman selling jewelry. These experiences are as common to the Masai as are the experiences of Fishman’s paintings of everyday life in America.

When not travelling to exotic places where he finds inspiration. Rob divides his time between the Washington metropolitan area and the mountains of Virginia.

Images of Everyday Life

African Series

African Series II