For reasons I can’t fully explain, I have always felt a need to create art. It is vital to my Christian faith, and I believe that I am imitating my Creator whenever I make art. The contemplative portion of the process for me is my meditation, the studio my prayer closet, the making my communion, the final work my sermon, the gallery my church. It is a way to work out my faith and for God to minister to me. I make overtly religious art because, for me, religion asks all of the important questions, “who am I, why am I here, where am I going?” Through art, I explore the possible answers.
My art is about meaning. I challenge myself to instill meaning into every possible aspect including the choices of materials, frame, dimensions and even shape of the work. The history of each component part is to me as important as the final form. I frequently utilize the psychological concept of contagion—the thinking that once something has had contact with another thing, their parts are in some way joined. Inspiration comes from the interplay of faith and religious practice, physical science and mathematics, and culture and the natural world.
Each work represents a twelve month long meditation upon a religious text, usually a verse or passage from the Bible. The works are my efforts to communicate to others the result of that meditation. The endeavor is as much by me, as it is for me as the end result is a visual example of how my faith has been changed by the exercise.
My name is John M. Robertson, MD. I am a physician by day and an artist by night. I have no formal training in the arts but have made art all my life. My grandmother was a painter and taught me to draw. I never stopped. In high school, I started painting. In college, writing poetry. In medical school, photography. In residency, I fell in love with mixed media and never looked back. My work has appeared in several local group shows in Houston, TX. However, I takes me about 12 months to create a piece of art, and at that rate, I don’t think I have enough for a solo show any time soon. I am the director of a Christian artist community here in Houston called IMAGO, where I take great joy in encouraging the creation of art as a vital part of members’ faith. I am also slowly attempting to acquire a firm base in theological aesthetics and SARTS has helped significantly in this endeavor.