Bob and Roberta Smith (1963 - )



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© London 2012 / Bob and Roberta Smith

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    Love by Bob and Roberta Smith is one of a series of limited-edition prints commissioned from leading British contemporary artists in celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. The artist Bob and Roberta Smith is known for his hand-painted signs on pieces of found wood. These signs – painted in the style of community action banners, street signs, and fun fair posters – relay direct and often humorous messages. Relating the sign depicted in this print directly to the Paralympic Games, Bob and Roberta Smith suggests that courage, inspiration, love and of course, sweat, are what drive the Paralympic athletes to succeed.


    Bob and Roberta Smith is the assumed name of the artist Patrick Brill. While working in New York in the early 1990s, he became disillusioned by the commercialism of the art world, particularly its dependency on, and promotion of, celebrity as a determining factor in the success or failure of an artist’s career. His interest developed towards the more democratic notion that anybody can make their own art, and that an artist can become an instrument for the expression of ideas, rather than an art celebrity. This approach relates to Brill’s use of a pseudonym: by identifying himself as a fictional duo, his intention is to move the focus away from the myth-making that can surround an individual artist. Bob and Roberta Smith works in a variety of genres, from sign-painting and performance to music and sculpture.

  • About the artist
    Bob and Roberta Smith (Patrick Brill) was born in London in 1964. He studied at the University of Reading – during which time he received a scholarship to the British School in Rome – and at Goldsmiths College, London. He has exhibited and participated in numerous group exhibitions in London, Basel and New York. In 2013, seeing art as an important element in democratic life, Bob and Roberta Smith launched the Art Party with Crescent Arts in Scarborough, to promote art education and the arts. Earlier he established the Leytonstone Centre for Contemporary Art in East London to exhibit the work of other artists who share his collaborative approach to making art. Brill served as a Trustee of the Tate between 2009 and 2013 and is currently a trustee of Art UK, and a patron of the Big Draw and NSEAD. In 2009, he was shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth Project in Trafalgar Square. In 2017, Brill was appointed OBE. He is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at London Metropolitan University.
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    Materials & Techniques
  • Details
    Portfolio Title
    London 2012
    HDC 2/10
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 60.00 cm
    Presented by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, October 2011
    below image, bl: HDC 2. ; bc: LOVE ; br: Bob and Roberta Smith 2011.
    London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (gift)
    GAC number