Robert Buck

Gallery Affiliations: CRG Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery

Region: Northeast

While out west in 2007, I was motivated to change my name, as art, a work without an object. Only in the field of art does this matter. “Buck” was appealing for its simplicity and associations —stag, cash, son, dislodge.

Concurrently, I wanted to build on my drawings, which derive from psychological case studies. One direction was a series of thrift store “outsider” paintings I amended by superimposing a signature culled from exhibition guest-books. The signatures, like the salvaged paintings, had been left behind, cast off.

I then used visitor signatures in larger paintings. Since a name is like a foundation or limit, I superimpose them over the background grid of Photoshop, backwards as in a mirror. The canvases are printed digitally, and then I draw, sketch, or write my associations with the various names, usually people unknown to me. Using someone’s name is the ultimate appropriation, a sign of our times. I consider them portraits.

As Jaques Lacan said, “One can do away with the Name-of-the-Father, as long as one makes use of it.”