The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is delighted to announce an exhibition of paintings by Robert Markey, whose eclectic sounds have had a recurring presence at the museum. “Beautiful People in the World,” Portraits from my Travels is a diverse collection by Markey created in oil on canvas which catalogue the many faces he has encountered in his travels in his work with kids and communities in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Greece, Israel and India. The exhibit will run from May 15th through June 30th in the Museum’s Corn Barn.
Markey’s art style is unique and captivating, adding depth to the already rich story told by this prolific traveler. “My work combines the visual and the conceptual. I want the visual statement to be profound, to be questioning and to be a source of inspiration and of beauty. Conceptually, my work often speaks about hope, about humor and about the human condition: what it is and what it could be.”
Markey is currently working primarily in oil painting, sculpture and mosaic murals. In his paintings he works with layers of intense color creating a deep almost primeval feeling space. His sculptures are outdoor installations using steel, stone, glass, wood and mosaic. The sculptures often have a political or social motif. The murals are often done in collaboration with community organizations, most recently in Greece with refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iran, and in India with kids from the slums. Before that he has worked with street kids in Cambodia, orphans and handicapped boys in Sri Lanka, and kids in difficult situations in Brazil.
Markey received his B.S. in Physics from M.I.T. in 1969 and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1982. Until 1980 his main focus was music, performing on classical guitar and sitar. In 1981 he began to work in the visual arts, and has made this the center of his life for the past thirty-five years. He has traveled extensively, working, studying, and teaching in Japan, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Europe, Central and South America. Markey presently works out of his studio in Ashfield, Massachusetts and teaches at the Springfield Museum School.
Markey will also be performing on August 5th, 2017 in the Museum’s “A Perfect Spot of Tea” series. Markey will perform sitar alongside Andrew Jenkins as part of “56 String Duo” They provide a diverse blend of Markey’s internationally-inspired Hindustani ragas with Jenkins’ 38-year-strong twelve-string guitar playing.