Robert Bissell’s Imaginary Realism creates a completely different atmosphere from our daily existence, inviting us to learn more about ourselves. In his paintings, the world of animals is a mirror for human existence, self-definition and reflection. Though it may look the part, Robert Bissell’s artwork is not the type you find in the pages of children’s tales, it is much deeper once examined closely.
His depictions of wild animals, from rabbits and butterflies to bears, birds, and frogs; are playful meditations on the inner lives of those creatures and, by extension, of human beings. Robert Bissell’s artwork allows us to pause and reflect on the environment, life, death, renewal and the stages of transition – departing from the safety of family, and making our way in the world.
Growing up on a farm in Somerset, England, Bissell retains a love of rural life, Celtic legends and panoramic landscapes. His keen interest in visuals began at an early age while documenting the life around him through photographs. In the late 1970’s, after studying graphic design and obtaining a Masters Degree from The Royal College of Art in London, Robert Bissell began traveling around the world, eventually settling in San Francisco where he began a successful 15 year career in retail advertising.
In the mid 1990’s his focus shifted, no longer wanting a part of the advertising world, he felt a pull towards sharing his love and feelings for nature through artistic expression. Robert Bissell hopes that his message, the idea of reconnecting with the nature that we left behind for cities and suburbs, can resonate with the public through his paintings. Now devoting all his time to his craft, Robert Bissell regularly exhibits his artwork in museums and sells his artwork in galleries across the United States and Europe.