In this fall’s edition of The Window in print, we introduced you to Tabor Robak, the digital artist who cultivated a childhood obsession with video games and computer art to become a force on the contemporary art market.
Robak’s second solo show recently wrapped at Team Gallery in Soho. Entitled Fake Shrimp, the exhibit consisted of four works made using moving images created by advanced computer-generated technology. The theme of the show was work life and each piece plays with the emotional facets of working and living.
“My job as an artist includes some sought-after work life ideals: the pursuit of pure creativity and inspiration, freedom from the 40-hour week, and a real, personal investment in the end product,” Robak explains. “Yet, because that end product is so personal, born from the struggle to transform my innermost life into an object worth sharing with the world, I found that the work day truths of all jobs—stress, long hours, and the cosmic weight of the do-or-die necessity to clock in, felt more consuming than ever.”
Robak has certainly moved on from his days of doodling on MacPaint and now puts in long hours from his Brooklyn apartment, where his workspace consists of six monitors and advanced software such as Unity, After Affects, Cinema 4D, and Photoshop. “The process is extremely arduous, requiring a lot of planning and scheduling,” he told The Window in print. “I put in a full day’s work of meticulous labor. Each piece is like a full-length movie or huge oil painting.”
Curious about how one might dabble in the complex emerging landscape of digital art, we asked Robak for his advice on starting out. “There is a reason that Photoshop is ubiquitous: it is intuitive and comprehensive! Infinity is right there on blank white canvas that comes from File > New,” he told us. “It’s the same place a novice may make a squiggle with a drop shadow, that the galaxies seen a in sci-fi blockbuster are also created. Just open it up and play around: try each tool, click on every button, and try every effect in the Filter Menu. You can’t break anything and there is no mess to clean up!”