HERO, The Paintings of Robert Bissell140pp Hardcover book
Here's a review of the event by Lory Osterhuber at Pomegranate, the publisher:
Recap: Hero Release Party
Lory Osterhuber, Pomegranate's Rights Manager, was lucky enough to be in San Francisco for the Hero: The Paintings of Robert Bissell book release, where she proudly represented Pomegranate and our enthusiasm for this title and its immensely talented artist, Robert Bissell.
In your opinion, was the event a success?
Absolutely. The Chloe Fine Arts Gallery, where the event was held, is at the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. There was a great turnout—from the guests who RSVP'd to the good number of people who were simply drawn in from the street by Robert's paintings in the windows. There was wine and desserts and tasty snacks—I went back a few times for a delicious green tapenade.
Robert is terrific about engaging people in honest conversations. The guests appeared to feel welcomed, comfortable, and content lingering at the gallery, surrounded by the beautiful art and good people.
Did you get a chance to speak with the artist personally?
Oh yes, I spoke with Robert throughout the night. He was excited and sincere. He had done an incredible amount of work before the show, including signing books for people who had placed orders prior to the event. And of course, he was signing books at the event itself and wrote a very thoughtful and touching inscription to Stephanie Odeh, Pomegranate’s designer of the book.
What was it like to see Bissell's paintings in their original scale after seeing them in their book form for so long?
I very much enjoyed being around those big beautiful landscapes and the larger than life animals. And Robert created ten new pastel works for the show that really took my breath away. The have so much motion in them!
I love the juxtapositions in Bissell's paintings. There is a great deal of lighthearted whimsy in his work, what with the idyllic locales and the flitting butterflies and bubbles and whatnot, but there is also this intense eye contact from the animal figures, as if they are calling us to action.
Seeing his paintings really informed the rest of my weekend. The experience caused me to ask myself what I could be doing with my day to cultivate joy. I think whenever we ask ourselves that question, it forces us to get creative.