Shelby Roberts

Origin Myth, 2019
Ink Jet print
48 x 64 inches

Artist Statement
Through sculpture, video, and photography, Shelby Roberts has spent over thirty years peering into and stabbing at the darker corners of American life. His images are beautiful, replete with irony, often imagining something better of our character than one might otherwise perceive. His sense of humor appears offering an escape, launching a psychic lifeboat. Roberts’ most recent project Origin Myth is on view February 2020 – June 2020 at Foto Forum, Santa Fe. This project started in 2018 as a series of color photographs made on the side roads along the I40 corridor between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City. It is a long drive Roberts made frequently to address obligations calling from both ends. The project expanded in 2019 to include locations in Kentucky and New England while contemplating the remains of those troubles.

Shelby Roberts was born in Oklahoma City, OK and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Roberts’s photography has been exhibited nationally at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN; the Supreme Trading Annex Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and the Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA to name a few. Roberts counts among his major influences, Walker Evans, John Cassavetes, and Townes Van Zandt, He received his BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and an MFA in art from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California. He is faculty in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine.