“I love powerful abstract images with subtle nuances. Chaos and calm, tension and release.”
Rob Forlani lives and works in Perth, Western Australia, where he was born and has developed a following across Australia, and his paintings are exhibited and collected throughout Australia, Europe, and the USA.
Known for his bold application of color and texture, Forlani’s canvasses are filled with shapes that at first seem familiar but suggest a parallel world reachable only through the imagination. In a lustrous palette and a musical style of tempered expressionism, Forlani paints abstract images inspired by the colors and forms from the world around us and by the thoughts and theories, emotions, and daydreams from within.
The post-impressionist and ‘fauve’ movements helped influence his first foray into painting. Then the sudden discovery of art produced by people like ‘Franz Kline,’ ‘Hans Hofmann, ‘Jackson Pollock’, and ‘Helen Frankenthaler’ came alive for him along with the personal expression, freedom and rebelliousness associated with Abstract Expressionism.
Closely examine Forlani’s work and elements from the four Artists mentioned above can be seen as his inspiration, driving force and influence.
-“I want everyone to have an individual feeling when viewing my work. The titles are just guides as ‘blurring the edges of meaning’ is the reason I produce abstract paintings.” – RF
At the age of 7, Rob had finished school one day and set off on his long journey home and this also meant traversing the repeatedly busy artery of Perth, The Great Eastern Highway.
Having initially crossed safely with the aide of the cross-walk warden and halfway home, Rob remembered that he’d forgotten his raincoat left hanging on a hook outside his classroom.
On his return he was not so lucky this time and just as the warden had waived the flags for safe passage, an errant driver in his vehicle decided to run the gauntlet and in the process, collected Rob knocking him metres across to the opposite side of the highway unconscious, head wounds, legs and ribs were broken.
After 4 months of hospitalisation and rehabilitation, a young Rob exited the hospital on crutches. However, it was his first concentrated exposure to the arts, immersing himself into the Princess Margaret Hospital art activities program.
Having had solo exhibitions across Australia predominantly in the medium of painting but also including large scale glass work, Rob steadily built a following in his native country.
Art though has also taken Rob to many places around the world enabling him to show his unique style of Abstraction to a broader audience and in 2005 Rob was selected to participate in New York’s Agora Gallery’s "Out From Down Under and Beyond: An Exhibition of Fine Art from Australia and New Zealand" with 11 other Australian artists.
While traveling through some of the USA's most eclectic cities, such as New York, Boston, Washington DC and San Francisco, Rob was able add to his growing melting pot of influence and style to his growing catalogue of work.
In 2006, Rob’s work was chosen for a solo exhibition, entitled “Essential Abstracts,” to open Zinc Details’ newest store, San Francisco’s globally renowned interior store and shortly after San Francisco, Rob exhibited and attended his first European solo exhibition at the Art Gallerier Moderna i Stockholm in Sweden.
Through a 6 month period through the European winter of 2008/09 Rob lived in Stockholm and held exhibits in Finland, England and Sweden enhancing a reputation for bold, striking large abstract work with a decidedly Australian flavour.
In 2013 Rob’s work was successfully exhibited in Bologna, Italy with a repeat exhibition mid-2014, this then led to group exhibitions in the years 2016 - ’17 in Madrid, Valencia and Aix-en-Provence in France which then led into his regular showings in Australia at Sydney and Yallingup in 2018.
2019/2020 led to another 7-week journey to Europe with a series of exhibitions starting in Sweden then Italy and culminating in Paris at the Grand Palais.
March of 2021, Rob was was invited by The Dampier Community Association to Judge the ‘Dampier Art Awards’ in the Pilbara as well as conduct 2 workshops for the community during their art week while in July of the same year Rob was appointed by the City of Karratha as the Artist in Residence for a period of 4 weeks at the Cossack Art Awards 2021
Rob has successfully displayed his work in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, Bologna, Stockholm, Auckland, London, Helsinki, New York and San Francisco.
“I would describe my work as pieces that endeavour to help the observer 'feel' my art in every sense of the word and then try to open the soul's yearning for a warm blast of dazzling light and shape through my use of colour and texture; textures that make the viewer want to touch the canvas.
This is the emotional connection I have while painting and the very same relationship I want others to have when they experience my work.”
Rob has been awarded:
Teaching in the Outback - Cossack, Western Australia