Robert Cottingham
Birth Date: September 26, 1935

Artist Gallery
Born in 1935 in Brooklyn, Robert Cottingham is primarily known for his paintings and prints of American urban landscapes. Though his work closely aligns with the Photorealists, he always considered himself simply a realist painter. After serving in the Army from 1955 through 1958, Cottingham studied advertising and graphic design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and soon thereafter embarked upon his professional artistic career. Many of his subjects depict symbols of American recreation such as neon signs, vintage cameras, railroad boxcars, movie marquees, and storefronts. His work often unites art and commerce, as his work particularly emphasizes the deep-rooted consumerism of American culture and entertainment. In particular, Cottingham was inspired by the dichotomy of Los Angeles; the glitz and glamour of Hollywood compared to the battered downtown and its remnants of a forgotten commercial heyday. He is known to be particularly attentive to American vernacular and the visual language, often focusing on certain words in his images, signifying the consumer culture of America, and our reliance on advertising. His works celebrate the form and grandeur of mid-20th-century signage and serve as a reminder of the past.