Robert Childers: Where Music & Art Collide
I met Robert Childers in May of 2015, when he provided the beat to his Dad, David Childers' show at Petra's in Charlotte, NC. The rapport between father and son spoke millions throughout the show. Afterward, while chatting with both David and Robert, it was clear that there is a true mutual respect between these two. Both are highly talented musicians and artists who aren't afraid to push the envelope. When viewing Robert's art, one is forced to ask questions and consider personal views and beliefs. His work can be abrupt and blunt in its narrative. And that, to me, is what Art is all about.
Since David Childers is always available to lend advice and lyrics, and has proven to be an integral part of WildesArt, I asked him to write an introduction to his son's interview. I hope you will enjoy learning more about this very talented musician and artist. Keep an eye and an ear out for Robert...he says a lot, and he has much more to say! You can find his art at various shows throughout the Charlotte area. Stop and ponder.
If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Robert Childers, I am very happy to introduce you to him and to his work. I hope you will find yourself asking questions of his art.
Visit Robert's Facebook page to contact him and to view more of his work.
From David Childers...
Robert has always surprised me. As a child he spoke fluent English at an early age, but never took well to school. He was a good soccer and football player, but fortunately, at age 16, forsook gridiron for music and art. He never fit into school, where he took art but developed conflict with his art teacher. It was like that with many of his teachers. He rebelled against a stagnant culture of false religion and hateful politics so prevalent in our area. As a young man, he seemed to live in a constant state of revolt against stupidity and rigidity(some of it directed at me as well). He has always had his own way of doing things.
"He has an envious precision and control over the figures he paints, and the wit of a satirist in arrangement of those figures, and often in his own narratives or commentaries written on the pieces."
As he and I have now played music together for well over 20 years (he plays drums with me), I have come to respect his insights and opinions about art and music as honest and un-affected. His work often startles and disturbs me, like many of my own favorites: Goya, Breughal, Picasso, and Dali. He has an envious precision and control over the figures he paints, and the wit of a satirist in arrangement of those figures, and often in his own narratives or commentaries written on the pieces.
What I am proudest of with Robert and the art he makes, is the relentless need in him to create, and the great ability to meet that need, yet never be smug or satisfied about it. He is an inspiration and a model for me in my own attempts to paint. I am proud to say I am his father.
Early Creative Life
I have always been into drawing, painting, sculpting, recording, and music since I was a little kid. In elementary school I was into skateboarding, and I would get hyped on the graphics on the Sk8 decks. I would be in school trying to draw stuff like I saw on those boards.
When I was about 9 or 10, I saw the movie Decline of Western Civilization about the LA punk rock scene. I was already into music like Buddy Holly and Elvis; I had even been making my own music and recording it on a jam box cassette machine at that point. But when I saw those grown-up punk rock dudes who couldn't really play that good doing shows and being cool, I knew I was a punk rocker.
Soon after, I got drums from a kid at my church who skated and liked punk rock. I tried to play with whoever had a guitar, my dad included, all the way up through high school. When I was about 17, I started playing shows at The World Famous Milestone Club . The club was an international punk rock Mecca for the East Coast. Soon I got a job there working the door. Before I knew it I was running sound there and booking shows.
I learned a lot about music and visual art being in that place. The club had been a 1960's biker bar. In the early 80's punk rockers like The Belmont Playboys and Antiseen took it over. The club is covered with 40 years of graffiti. All the stickers, posters, zines, and graffiti were a major influence and a motivator to do similar stuff myself.
Current Work and Inspirations
Twenty years later, and I still make punk rock. I do other music, too, including stuff with my dad. I also do a lot of recording for myself and other musicians. I run live sound at the vital Charlotte show space Snug Harbor a couple of nights a week, and that is a major inspiration for all kinds of artistic stuff -- be it songs, stories, paintings, or graffiti.
In the future I hope to keep on getting to be involved with so much good. I feel mighty blessed to be able to do amazing stuff in a vibrant community filled with so much talent.