At the “Artist-Run” invitational at Noho M55 artists coop gallery – a show which opened June 29 and which will close July 29 – I found one artist who stood out for his iconic work – which is the poster for the show.
The only way to understand this man as the multimedia artist he is? look him up on Wikipedia: “Robert “Rob” Redding, Jr. (….1976) is an American media proprietor, award-winning radio talk show host, political commentator, independent journalist, a best-selling American author, a best-selling American music artist and songwriter, visual artist and social entrepreneur.” And it then explodes from there. This man lives art.
As was the case with another black artist, James Baldwin, Rob was protected and nurtured by living in Europe – which many young black artists have had to do. Redding moved to Brussels Belgium in 2013 and became first to broadcast his afternoon talk show via GCN to American audiences nightly from Europe. Wikipedia lists a dozen major scoops he came up with – but what’s key is that Redding made his program the first ever and most successful stand-alone spoken word program available exclusively to subscribers via his subscriber-supported Web site. In the US he started as a hip-hop personality on talk radio – and ending up at The Washington Times. In 2001, went full-time in talk radio at CBS Radio. As ReddingNewsReview.com in 2003, in 2008 he signed weekend syndication deals with GCN and Sirius XM in 2008, while finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The Sirius XM deal ended after 420 episodes in 2013.
Had enough? Redding is author of eight consecutive best-selling books – all of which have figured in Amazon’s top hot new releases, notably Why Black Lives Matter, Disrupter, Unthinkable: Poems, Philosophies and Paintings, an e-book Where’s the Change?: Why Neither Obama, nor the GOP Can Solve America’s Problems, and Not a Nonviolent Negro: How I Survived Obama – which was #1 on Amazon.com in three categories.
Redding should make Wikipedia redefine “multimedia” and make us abandon categories for describing people like him. He’s also released a dance album, “Not a Nonviolent Negro” which takes portions of his talk show and sets them to heavy dance beats (#1 on Amazon.com). The album is considered a soundtrack to his No. 1 best-selling book “Not a Nonviolent Negro: How I Survived Obama.” The book and album were released on the same day. His dance album “Unleash the Whip!” takes portions of his talk show and sets them to heavy dance beats (#2 on Amazon. Black? he’s beyond black.
To round off this square peg in our round holes, Stanford University selected him as their John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship Semifinalist for his journalism innovation. He’s founded Black Talkers, a web site which covers the black talk media industry. And he’s narrated “Stay Brady Stay” a documentary about the future of Louisiana.
Oh, yes – Redding is also an artist, who paints abstract “smear paintings.” His work has been exhibited in Europe and throughout the states. He’s a hit in all he does. The Washington, D.C., Georgetowner focused only his art in a group show on Capitol Hill in 2006. And I’m doing the same here. I love the Chelsea NohoM55 artist coop – but I’m even happier to announce that a solo show of Redding’s Smear Paintings opens Sept 21 6-8pm at Midoma Gallery – one of the great galleries reclaiming 8th Ave midtown as NYC’s next art arena.
Let’s have more artists like this: artists who live art as Rob does.