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. His work has been covered by publications including: The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, PAPER, Whitewall Magazine, and Milk. Roberts has collaborated with brands like American Express, Nike, Adidas, and Bombay Sapphire. Celebrity collectors include: Adrien Brody (actor), Paige Reifler (model), and Slick Woods (model).
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. In 2019, his work was selected for public display in No Longer Empty’s (after)care exhibition. After contributing artwork to the papal 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.
Artist ig: @malik.roberts.art
Dots, Group Exhibition | The Smithsonian: Hirshornn Museum & Sculpture Garden | Washington D.C.
Scholas Ocurrentes Benefit Auction | United Nations Global Headquarters | Manhattan, New York
Filling in the Blanks Benefit Auction | Glen Arbor Golf Club | Bedford, New York
New Work by Malik Roberts, Solo Exhibition | Atelier ABXY | Soho, 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
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
Permanent Collections and Public Works
The Officers Involved Have Not Been Charged, Public Mural | First Street Green Graffiti Park | Lower East Side, NYC
Culture, Migos Album Release Dinner | The Standard Hotel, Chelsea, NYC