About the artist


Rob Zeller Bio

Robert Zeller is an artist and writer, based in Oyster Bay, NY.. Zeller received a BFA from the Boston Museum School and Tufts University and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. In addition, he continued his study of classical form with private anatomical study with the sculptor Sabin Howard, and also at the Water Street Atelier.  

He is the recipient of two Posey Fellowships in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2007. Zeller has exhibited his artwork in Los Angeles, Houston, and Paris. His work is in personal and corporate collections in the US, Mexico and Europe.

In January 2009, he founded the Teaching Studios of Art, an art school devoted to teaching traditional techniques to artists of all ages and skill levels. Over 9 years, the school has hosted classes and workshops taught by some of the finest faculty working in Figurative art today.

He has written a book about the Figure for Monacelli Press, called The Figurative Artist's Handbook which was released in April 2017. In addition, he has written essays for The Brooklyn Rail and Drawing Magazine. In 2014, he was the subject of a feature profile in Professional Artist Magazine. He has been quoted or written about in several other national publications, including American Artist and Studios magazines.

 Zeller was the co-curator of The New Baroque, an exhibition at Booth Gallery in NYC from November 2017- January 2018, based on The Figurative Artist's Handbook  and featured 21 of the artists included in the book and a couple of others, encompassing contemporary figure painting as well as sculpture. 


Artist's Statement
While I am influenced a great deal by contemporary figurative artists as diverse as Neo Rausch and Bo Bartlett, the truth is I have always been fascinated by Renaissance painting, and Baroque Catholic imagery. This its in part due to my upbringing in New Orleans. As a child, I remember having dreams about angels swirling around the ceiling in my room as I drifted off to sleep. I was a little different, even then. 

But, as an adult, someone who reads philosophy, psychology and Joseph Campbell, I've grow more attracted to the exploring the subconscious and the archetypes of dream imagery. Personally, I do not see a point top going back in time for artistic answers, but I do see the point of  traveling inward.  I have become a Surrealist in sheep’s clothing. 


Photograph by Sandro Baebler Photography