About Rob Larsen
The path to this point in my creative life is surprisingly direct. Bits grow on top of bits and styles evolve, but everything I am now as an artist can be accurately traced back to the kid who’d been a regular at the MFA since before he could walk, started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil and immersed himself in the energy and urban chaos of graffiti in the 1980s. Currently all of that stuff (and the intervening 25+ years) is funneled into work that tries to distill the energy of the city and the freestyle typography of graffiti onto canvas. My process tries to replicate the layering of city walls and the random, energetic way that the environment and man conspire to transform the city’s surfaces.
I've shown my art regularly over the past several years. I've been fortunate to have my art hang alongside artists like Seen, Cope2, Blade, T-Kid, Rickey Powell, Sever, Tracy 168, Ces, Med, Sever, Kem5, Alert, Vault, Alone, Percy Fortini Wright, Sly and Rath. Here's a full list of shows I've taken part in:
- Brattle Art House 2011 Wednesday, October 5, 2011 OBERON, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA
- Jamaica Plain Artists Association Annual Group Show August, 4 2011 -September 12, 2011. JP Licks, 659 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
- The Hyde presents Typographic Paintings by Rob Larsen September 1, 2011 -September 30, 2011. The Hyde, 5 Fairmount Avenue Hyde Park, MA
- Jamaica Plain Artists Association Exhibit in the State House May 5 -July 8th, 2011. Massachusetts State House, Room 130 Boston, MA My art featured in the very nice coverage of the opening.
- 22nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery April 4 -May 15th, 2011. Boston City Hall, Boston, MA My art was featured in the coverage of the show on Boston.com
- Art House: A Silent Art Auction to Benefit the Brattle Film Foundation October 3, 7:00PM - 9:30PM Oberon, 2 Bow Street, Cambridge, MA
- 21st Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery April 5 -May 14th, 2010. Boston City Hall, Boston, MA
- "Paint It Now" March 19 - April 29, 2010 The Distillery Gallery,South Boston, MA
- FutureArts 2009 @ The Roxy
- ComNGraf 2 September 27, 2008
- Future Classic Gallery Sale 2 / June 4, 2008
- Legends of Style Boston / April 26th, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
- FutureArts 2008 April 18 and 19, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
- Hit the Deck- Winter Music Conference, 2008.3.28 @ The Catalina Hotel in Miami, FL
- Hit the Deck- SXSW, 2008.3.13 @ Light Bar in Austin, TX
- Boston Urban Art Festival Saturday, December 8, 2007
- Hit the Deck Custom Skateboards November 15, 2007
- Sneak(er) Peek II
- Legends of Style Boston 2007: Surreal City
- Urban Art Experiments Volume 2 (Detroit)
- Rekloos Rocks your Toy Box (kid robot) show
- Legends of Style Fall 2006: Future Shock
- Legends of Style Spring 2006: ICONS
- Legends of Style Fall 2005
- Legends of Style Spring 2005
- Future Classic September 2003
I've been interviewed dozens of times for everything from school papers to web sites and newspapers about the subject of graffiti art. My comments on the subject have appeared in several places including the the Weekly Dig, local arts website Big, Red and Shiny and in The History of American Graffiti.
I've also done some illustration, both black and white and color, for several local publications; most notably a cover for the Weekly Dig's graffiti issue.
- Enterprise 2.0 Boston, MA 20th–23rd June 2011
- Boston PHP: Learn CSS October 13, 7:00PM Bocoup, 319 A St, South Boston, MA
- Design Camp Boston: Learn CSS November 6 Microsoft New England Research & Development Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
- Front End Performance for the Common Man: Practical Strategies to Speed Up Your Site May 19, 6:30PM - 8:00PM Bocoup, 319 A St, South Boston, MA
- "The Future is Now: Theming Wordpress with HMTL5" WordCamp Boston. Microsoft New England Research Division
- Appeared on the panel MITX panel "Building Social Applications & Widgets for Top Platforms" with Matthew Adkisson, (CEO, FreeCause.com); Norris Boyd (Engineering Manager, Google); C.C. Chapman (Partner, The Advance Guard); and Ann Glenn (Senior Web Producer, Sony Pictures Imageworks Interactive.) Moderated by Chris Brogan.
- 4/2010 I did a presentation for grades 5-8 at Sacred Heart Academy in Hyde Park, Ma
- 3/2010 I taught a class on graffiti lettering at the Phoenix Academy in Chelsea, MA.
- In 2009 I taught a class on graffiti/street art at the Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park with the Citizens Schools program
- I also taught a one day class on graffiti at Northeastern University’s Stetson West dormitory
I wrote about cinema for several years for Boston's Weekly Dig (where I also served as Film Editor), Shovel Magazine and The Boston Metro. My movies section contains my (almost) complete film writing archive.
When I was younger I also co-wrote and co-produced a play called Black Cats and White Lies that played at the C. Walsh Theater at Suffolk University.
I've begun doing some writing for IBM DeveloperWorks.
- Introduction to Sandboxed Natives and FuseJS
- HTML5 Boilerplate: Kick Start Your Web Development
- Introduction to Ajax
- HTML5, CSS3 and Related Technologies: A Handy Atlas to the New World of Web Standards
I worked as an inker in the traditional collaborative process for several years. My credits in that regard include:
- Cadre #3 from Nifty Comics: inks on an 18 page story
- Across the Pond Presents #2 from Across the Pond Comics: inks on a 7 page story
- Shakti Warriors #3: inks on an 8 page story
- Shakti Warriors #2: inks on an 8 page story
- Futurius: Tales from the Plex inks on a 10 page story
- Commercial Suicide vol. 3 inks on 2 pages of a 6 page story
- Vamperotica #38 from Brainstorm Comics inks on two pinups
- Vamperotica Tales #1 from Brainstorm Comics inks on two pinups
- Vamperotica Tales #4 from Brainstorm Comics inks on a 12 page story
- Vamperotica #41 from Brainstorm Comics inks
Not art-related, but definitely comics related, I maintain a general comics blog at itsalljustcomics.com called "It's All Just Comics" that deals with everything from the world's most valuable collectible comics to the latest/greatest Comics/Manga/BD on the shelves.
I have a presence on (and actually use) the following social networks and services:
- Twitter / rob_react
- rob_react's bookmarks on del.icio.us
- Flickr: Photos from Rob React
- rob_react's Music Profile – Users at Last.fm
- LinkedIn: Rob Larsen
The Important Stuff
The current version (the third major revision) of the site was designed and developed by me in about a year and a half starting in 2008. The actual work involved probably took three months of that time.
Software used in the creation of this site:
- Microsoft Visio for wireframes
- Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Photoshop CS4 for the design
- Dreamweaver CS4 for prototyping and site management
- Fireworks CS4 for image production
My current work machine is a 16.0" Sony Vaio FW Intel Core 2 Duo (2.53GHz) with 8GB of RAM running Windows 7. As for the server, I've hosted for over eleven years at Futurequest, on a Linux machine running Apache, PHP and MySql. I host all of my media with Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront. My site source code is under Subversion hosted at Wush.net. I use Atlassian's Jira for bug-tracking. I use the Magpie RSS Parser and the Keith Devens PHP XML Library to do some XML magic around here. I also use the QuickCache caching system to serve cached/gzipped content. My blog is proudly running WordPress.
This site generated 1,541,116 page views in 2007, 2,400,320 page views in 2008 and 2,985,177 page views in 2009.