Robert Gray Jr. is not your ordinary human being. Where most of us see nature, he notices places where the sky looks like it was painted by artisans and where the mountains strain with the weight of growing life. Besides making him unique, Robert’s sensitivity has allowed him to foray into the artistic fabric of our world, and thus, to create stunning works of art.
Although art is his life now, discovering his calling didn’t happen in a way Robert could have wanted. At the young age of 14 the artist tragically lost his brother. During the accident, Robert experienced divine intervention and was able to find his own silver lining. Turning pain into a lifelong mission, Robert now aims to create a better world for those around him. An advocate for animal and human rights, he uses his art to create conscience and stop all forms of animal abuse.
Inspired by his story, BELLA chatted with the artist to talk about his journey, his mission to help the world, and finally, to get a glimpse into the mind behind a vast list of masterpieces.
How did you get into the industry?
As a child, because my civil and human rights were being violated with legalized cockfighting at home, I believed I had to devise a coded message to draw attention to the political Flaw of legalized cockfighting without literally speaking about said flaw. Later I discovered I could convey this message through my Art.
Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
God gives me the inspiration for my Art. That’s because I received my light source in a supernatural experience with a light involved.
Do you have a specific creative process?
I always use the same light source in all my art. I call it blob induced light because of the transparent blob I got “hit” from in my supernatural experience at my brother’s accident.
Tell us about this accident…
When I was 14 years of age my younger brother and I were racing on motorbikes. I saw him get hit by a car and he died instantly. Everything was in slow motion and there was no sound. I saw his body go up into the sky and a black shadow separated from his body. At that moment I felt myself split and a part of me lifted with my brother’s shadow. While I was up there, I saw a bunch of black blobs going fast in all directions. I then saw a light and my brother’s shadow went into this light. Then I saw a transparent blob come out of the light and it “hit” me. I started to feel myself slowly sink back down into my body. After this happened, I believed if I talked about it the world would end. It was the same end of the world fear I had with legalized cockfighting at home. Growing up I felt something pressing on me like a weight. I did not realize at the time that it was from this blob. I did not tell anyone.
Do you believe an artist has to experience pain to be able to create?
I don’t know about everyone, but pain had something to do with me getting in touch with my light source. I had like a weight or pressure pushing on me stemming from my environment with cockfighting at home and guilt I had to deal with because of my brother’s death. One day all the pressure and weight pushing on me immediately moved into a spot on my brain. During college I was studying Art and Architecture. One night I was reading a passage in the Bible about fire from the sky. Instantly, I felt this weight or pressure rise from my feet, up my body and into a spot on my brain. It felt like steam hitting the inside of my skull. It felt good. It was a release of pressure. I thought to myself maybe this blob was trying to tell me something. It was. It was telling me to use this spot in my brain as a light source for my paintings and drawings. My paintings and drawings had no depth and were flat until I used this spot in my brain as a light source. They came alive instantly. It was a gift from GOD and had a message.I have no more pain.
What advice would you give an aspiring painter?
I would tell them to get in touch with any light experiences they may have had.
They say the best artist are able to stir strong feelings inside their audience. What impact do you want your work to have on others?
I want to generate conscience about animal rights. I believe cockfighting on Earth should be made illegal for human welfare and for humanity in general, not just for animal welfare.
Finally, at Bella, we believe that beauty is defined by each. What does beauty mean to you, and how do you find it?
To me beauty is when life gives you lemons and you make lemonade.
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