Robert Asay

Robert Asay, “Space Station 1&2,” 2021, acrylic on board, 36 x 36 in.

“Space Station 1 & 2” comprises two paintings that explore the liminal space of consciousness experienced during epileptic seizures. The pieces are vibrant tapestries of color and form, evoking the complex neural transmissions of the artist’s brain. Abstract elements dance across each canvas, intertwining and overlapping in a visual symphony that is both chaotic and harmonious. The color palette is a mix of calm blues and greys, juxtaposed with energetic bursts of reds, pinks, and yellows, creating a visual representation of electrical impulses.

“I am a visual artist with epilepsy. I’m interested in the unknown, the psyche, where the mind wanders while losing consciousness during a seizure” says Asay. “Like a strange dream, the memory fades but the feeling it leaves carries on. The elements in these paintings form through a visualized area I refer to as neural transmissions, composed of simple forms interpreted as visual data. Like a narrative, the work assembles and creates a complex language through mark making.”

The use of simple forms suggests the fundamental units of visual data that our brain interprets, reminiscent of pixels on a digital screen. This choice of representation speaks to the digital age, where the virtual and the organic constantly merge. The artworks’ structure is a metaphor for the erratic yet patterned electrical activity in the brain during seizures. The lines and shapes may appear random but are deliberate, symbolizing the unpredictable nature of epileptic episodes and the attempts of the mind to make sense of them. The process of creating these paintings is both an act of introspection and a means of communication, bridging the gap between personal experience and broader public understanding.

Born 1993, Robert Asay studied Painting and Drawing at the University of Utah, graduating in 2015. He spent a small portion of his undergrad studying at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam, NL.

Robert’s work primarily consists of large scale paintings, full of flowing geometric forms that move across the canvas.

He has worked as a Scenic Artist for the Utah Opera Company, painting sets in house and across the nation, including Ballet West’s 2017 Renovated Nutcracker.

In 2018, Robert was diagnosed with epilepsy after having a series of seizures. This led the main focus of his work to exploring and expanding inward.

In May 2023, he and his wife, Megan, opened a small contemporary gallery in Ogden UT called “Ruby’s Relics.”


READ MORE about Robert and view more examples of his work.

Artists of Utah’s 35×35Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Feb. 23

Categories: 35x35

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