A CONTEMPORARY BRITISH ARTIST’S ALTER EGO HAS CREATED A FASCINATING BODY OF WORK, RICH IN HISTORICAL ALLUSIONS — AND HUMOR
by Edward M. Gómez
Robert Holcombe is one of the most imaginative, original artists you will never meet.
That’s not because he mysteriously vanished, never to be heard from again, or because he died or is residing somewhere in well-maintained seclusion, doing his best to keep the intrusions and irritations of the world far from his door.
The fact is that “Robert Holcombe” does not exist. He is the invention of the British artist Wayne Burrows, who today lives in Nottingham, in the Midlands region of central England. As an artist, Burrows/Holcombe is primarily self-taught. Burrows, whose formal education ended when he was a teenager, recently told brutjournal: “I never studied art beyond secondary school and I left [school] at [the age of] 17.” He went on to work in what he referred to as “craft and print galleries, and picture-framing shops,” pointing out that, to the extent that he ever studied art-making or art history, his learning “was always informal and under my own direction, which rarely coincided with standard canons or readings.”
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