MALIK ROBERTS (b. 1990, Brooklyn, NY) is a Brooklyn based painter and multimedia artist creating works of figurative abstraction, which address contemporary social issues like police brutality, exclusionary politics, and systemic racism. Prismatic fragmentations of form, his deconstructed portraits convey complexities and tensions too-often masked by his subjects’ appearance.
In the tradition of artists like Kehinde Wiley or Roy Lichtenstein, Roberts manipulates recognizable images and conventions from art history and the media to dismantle the viewer’s perception of reality. The artist begins by breaking down a familiar-feeling icon or landscape into its most basic geometric forms. He then reconstructs the picture, layering charged source imagery and cartoonish extremities onto the geometric x-ray of his subjects. In this unique artistic language, Robert’s articulates haunting similarities between reality and caricature as fluently as he expresses their spiritual dissonance.
Presenting scenes all too familiar, the artist invites new ways of seeing. Unlike the reductive rabble-rousing typical of Digital Age media, Roberts portrays his subject’s internal and external conflicts with kaleidoscopic effect. His sophisticated handling of form and content adjusts for our humanity, recasting once-linear narratives as revelatory meditations on the creaking mechanics of justice.
In 2016 Roberts' politically charged mural on display at First Street Green Graffiti Park in downtown Manhattan caught the attention of Scholastic's National Programs team. The artist was subsequently selected to serve as a juror for Scholastic's distinguished "Art and Writing Awards." In November 2017, Roberts had his first solo show at ABXY Gallery in Manhattan. Entitled, "Stolen," works in the show focused on the misappropriation of black culture in contemporary media. In 2018, Nike featured the artist’s work at their NYC Air Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In November 2018, Roberts debuted his second solo show at ABXY Gallery in Manhattan. Entitled, “BLK & BLUE,” works in the show focused on the issue of mental illness in communities of color. The exhibition gained the artist critical acclaim in publications such as the Washington Post and Hyperallergic. In 2019, after contributing art work to the Pope’s arts education initiative, “Scholas Ocurrentes,“ Roberts was invited Vatican city for a private audience with his Holiness. There, the artist presented Pope Francis with a painting of a black Christ, which was received enthusiastically. The work will remain in the papal collection.
Roberts has collaborated with brands like American Express, Bombay Sapphire, and Freehand Hotels, to name a few. Celebrity collectors include: Adrien Brody (actor), Paige Reifler (model), and Ryn Weaver (musician). Roberts has collaborated with brands like Nike, Adidas, and Bombay Sapphire. His work has been covered by publications including: The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, PAPER, Whitewall Magazine, Milk, and many more. Celebrity collectors include: Adrien Brody (actor), Paige Reifler (model), and Slick Woods (model).
Artist ig: @malik.roberts.art
(after)care, by No Longer Empty | Kings County Memorial Hospital | Brooklyn, New York
Neuberger Berman Celebrates Black History Month, Group Exhibition | Neuberger Berman Global Headquarters | Manhattan, New York
AEA Courtside, Group Exhibition | Arch Enemy Arts | Philadelphia, PA
BLK & BLUE, Solo Exhibition | ABXY Gallery | Manhattan, New York
Scholas Ocurrentes Benefit Auction | United Nations Global Headquarters | Manhattan, New York
ON AIR, Group Exhibition | Nike Air Gallery | Brooklyn, New York
American Express Diversity Mixer | Rooftop 760 | Manhattan, New York
Filling in the Blanks Benefit Auction | Glen Arbor Golf Club | Bedford, New York
Stolen, Solo Exhibition | ABXY Gallery | Lower East Side, NYC
NOW WE HERE, Group Exhibition | ABXY Gallery | Lower East Side, NYC
Migos Album Release Event, Culture, The Standard Hotel, Chelsea, NYC
The Officers Involved Have Not Been Charged, Mural | First Street Green Graffiti Park | Lower East Side, NYC
New Work by Malik Roberts, Solo Exhibition | Atelier ABXY | Soho, NYC
This is Not a Safe Space, Group Exhibition | A+E Studios | Tribeca, NYC
Filling in the Blanks Benefit Auction | GlenArbor Golf Club | Bedford, NY
Live Painting Featuring Malik Roberts | Sounds of Brazil | SoHo NYC
Malik Roberts x GoodWood, Solo Exhibition | Kymberle Project | Brooklyn, NYC
Hypeist Scavenger Hunt | Manhattan NYC
The Burrprint Pop Up, Group Exhibition | Afropunk Music Festival | Brooklyn NYC
Love, Fashion, Art, curated by Haute Living, Group Exhibition | Lulu Laboratorium | Wynwood, Miami
Artistry and Influence, A Tribute to Gucci Mane, Group Exhibition, curated by Electric Circus | VILLAIN | Brooklyn NY
Group Show, Gallery Ade Olisa | Long Island, New York