Portland Artist, Carson Roberts
Carson Roberts is someone to keep an eye on. I met him in the summer of 2019 at a pop-up event in northeast Portland. He and I struck up a conversation and exchanged Instagram accounts. It wasn’t until months later that I finally reached out.
I had just moved into my apartment in Lake Oswego and was interested in decorating my walls. I recalled that he had some paintings for sale. I started scrolling through his Instagram and one painting immediately caught my eye. Street Saint — a burning man flying through the sky. I sent him a DM and told him I was interested in buying and wanted to see the painting in person. He was thrilled and invited me over.
When I stepped into his apartment, I immediately knew that I was in the presence of a full-fledged artist. The floor was covered in bedsheets and his walls were lined with 40-inch canvas’. They practically stare at him while he sleeps.
He offered me a seat in his wheelchair. I asked if he had recently been injured. He said no. Apparently, he found it on the street and thought it would suffice as furniture. I laughed. I hadn’t even looked at the painting yet and I was already sold. Personally, I like buying from people who live and breathe their craft rather than someone who does it as a hobby.
He finally showed me the painting and it was beautiful. Slightly bigger than I imagined. I asked him about the materials he used. Acrylic, Spray Paint, and Pastel on Repurposed Reflective Roll-Up Vinyl. He told me about his late-night escapades grabbing construction materials left behind in the streets. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt like I was talking to a real-life starving artist. A man who uses all of his disposable income for art projects. A man who is willing to go as far as stealing materials in order to satisfy his obsession with self-expression.
I asked him about his process. He told me that he writes down exactly how he felt (while painting) on the back of each canvas. I thought that was dope.
Of course, I bought the painting.
Carson donated 1/3 of the revenue generated from this purchase to the National Police Accountability Project.
Be sure to check out the rest of his artwork on cd-rproductions.com