Robert Canaga Studio
Open for physical studio space visit: The studio is open to masked public by appointment.
About the space:
Robert Canaga is a Painter, Photographer, and Printmaker. He has been curator for OPUS6IX, PeaceHealth Headquarters (2011-12), and the Gallery at the Watershed. He also was the proprietor of Robert Canaga Gallery, which opened in Portland in 1998 and moved to Eugene to where Karin Clarke Gallery is now, closing in 2001.
“I drew and played with my mom’s paints and pastels from a very early age. My first real art class was freshman year in high school with a woman call Starr Brandt. She was a grad student at Oregon State University and was a great teacher. She kept all my work for the year and took it to her teachers.
I was told that I had been selected to attend a special summer program for gifted and talented kids. They came to the house and told mom and dad what they were offering: A two month stay in Paris to attend classes, visit museums, and learn French (I was taking French in school). The cost was minimal and my dad could well afford it. Mom was excited and proud. Dad said, "Art’s for fags, you’re gonna work." Stopped making art and started singing rock and roll, got heavily into drugs, and grew my hair long. I never have forgiven dad for that and he was long dead when I came back to art at 40.
A painter commits part of the soul to canvas, but this is not a subtractive process for me. I grow when I put these images out into the world. I gain knowledge of myself when I complete a painting, so each work leads to the next like completing a puzzle.
I’m a purist when it comes to color; I carry precise colors in my mind’s eye. The windows of my studio do not reveal the surrounding landscape, because I deliberately decided not to be influenced by the external, Pacific Northwest palette. I’m fascinated by color frequencies and how those frequencies relate to each other.
Several times in my life, I’ve been very close to my own death. These experiences, and my art, taught me to fully stand in the moment, where there is no time, and everything happens at once.”