Robert J. Long
Robert Long is a visual artist and educator from Silver Spring, Maryland. His zoologically-focused artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. In 2013 he became Arizona’s first and only finalist in the internationally juried Adobe Design Achievement Awards. His illustrations have been published by Frontiers in Microbiology, Manifest Press, the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, and Edible Baja Arizona Magazine, among others. Long is also an avid photographer with experience in macro-photography and an interest in natural subjects.
Long earned his MFA at the University of Arizona in Tucson and later taught visual arts at Pima Community College. He now holds the position of Lecturer of Visual Communication at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
I aim to inspire curiosity in the intricacies of the natural world, and by extension, promote nature conservation. My personal research hones in on symbiosis, or the living together of unlike organisms. Deep within these animals' relationships, I aim to understand interdependency— the way in which their lives cross into another. Fueled by biology and protoscience, my artwork amplifies intimate and obscure forms of life in order to give underrepresented organisms a louder voice and to visualize their self-worlds or Umwelten.
I stay inspired by visiting natural history museums and aquaria and by tending to my coral reef aquarium. A natural curiosity pushes me along, often to places I didn’t expect to be. I grew up catching bugs and collecting fossilized sharks' teeth in Maryland, where my friends later introduced me to crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay.
“Long's innate technical abilities are accompanied by an inquisitive vision… There is an agency in Long's investigation of the relationships between animals, and animals' perceptions of their environments, an agency that emerges from the ease with which we can recognize a parallel between the animals and ourselves... Robert Long has found harmony in the latent fragments of life's connectedness, and it is my hope he will continue to compose ever more finely crafted songs from what we persist in not knowing how to sing.”
Nicholas Pollack — May, 2012.
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