Robert Rendo   [ Illustrator ]

Artist Message


Artist Statement

I hope to engage the reader with an image that has wisdom, wit, and profundity complemented by humor.

Artist Biography

Robert Rendo grew up in Long Island, New York. He lives in New York City and in Massachusetts with his wife Rachel, a children's clothing designer.

Artist News

Robert Rendo is an editorial illustrator and president of A native New Yorker, Rendo's satirical drawings exude the cyncical, cosmopolitan culture of New York. Mr. Rendo's verve and punch have earned him publication in the Op/Ed section of the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Sacramento Bee. Since then, he has continued to collect awards, speak on radio, and exhibit in a variety of galleries.

Back on August 22, 2010, Rendo co-created an op/ed piece for the Sacramento Bee. Rendo's collaborator, Roy Rivenberg, was a features writer for the Los Angeles TImes. The feature occupied nearly the full page, and Rendo contributed illustrated game cards to a satirized version of Monopoly, which commented on the gubernatorial race between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. Rendo's illustrations were hailed by local critics as a "graphic triumph over bad politics, rich candidates, and campaign financing gone wild". When asked why he got involved in the project, Rendo replied, "Who wouldn't? Meg Whitman spent 140 million dollars of her own money, so why not criticize an outrageous election system that allows anyone with money to dominate a race? The recent Supreme Court decision that equated free speech with unbridled campaign spending is horrific. My drawings at least say something strong to the public about how cosmetic our democracy is becoming."

From abortion to arm wrestling, bears to big government, manliness to Medicare, prozac to Palestine, Rendo's A to Z stockhouse of illustrations is packed with a scathing and stimulating slant on a wide range of subjects. The editorial illustration stockhouse, with a surprise feature, will be launched to the public in summer of 2012.

"I hope to provoke all readers," says Rendo. "Editorial art is visceral, but it's a very precise genre."

When asked how he foresees illustration in media, Rendo said, "I think it'll be shared more equally between hardcopy and the internet. For me, It's more satisfying to hold a periodical in your fingers and turn the pages. Whatever the format, illustration will always help chronicle the follies of man. And we humans screwing up never seems to be out of vogue. "

Rendo went on to explain the motivation behind his work. "My art reflects most follies to translate sentiment into a potent image. Through my images I'm lecturing about political immorality and social injustice. My work suggests theatricality and kabuki, and I'm often concocting a brew of farce, tragedy, comedy, sarcasm, and sometimes atrocity. My drawings at first glance seem silly and frothy, but inevitably render messages that are dark, sad, often allegorical. The truth is, what's going on out here in the United States and the world is not at all funny; it's sad and often enfuriating."

Jerelle Krause, 30 year veteran art director at the New York Times, said of Rendo's work, "He is an expert at capturing - with classy, cool humorous strokes - the essence of every conceivable concept. I can clearly see what the Society of Illustrators saw in him back in 2008 when one of his pieces won in their annual juried show."

Rendo explained, "When I illustrate for an article, I sometimes make an independent statement that complements the writer's message. Other times, well, I pretty much depict what the editorial is spelling out for the reader. Each assignment is unique and as thrilling as the last. The power of art as image to raise our consciousness is the force that drives me. Just as the city of New York dismantles and transforms, I'd like my art to do the same."

Awards and Prizes:
2007 and 2008 - Winner, Annual American Illustration/American
Photography Juried Show (with noted jurors: Arem Duplessis of the
New York Times Magazine, Stacey D. Clarkson of Harper's, and
Edel Rodriguez of Time Magazine)
2008 - Winner, "Uncommissioned" Category, 51st Anual Society of
Illustrators Juried Competition (with noted jurors: Paul Davis, Richard Berenson, Ruth Marten, and Stephano Imbert)
2008 - Winner - Campus Violence Awareness Juried Show, University and College Design Association

Radio programs:
2009 - Bob Fass show, WBAI: Commentary on Jerelle Kraus's book
"All the Art's that Fit to Print (and Some That Wasn't): Inside the
Op/Ed pages of the New York Times"
2006 - NPR News Radio: "The Changing Face of Illustration and Periodicals"
Press: Maverick Arts Magazine, Berkhire Fine Arts Magazine, Greylock News, The North Adams Transcript

Northern Berkshires Open Studios - "A Retrospective of Political Folly" - 2006
North Adams Eclipse Mill Gallery - "What's So Funny?" 2008
Berkshire Salon - "The Imaged Word" 2009
Society of Illustrators, New York, NY - "Show 51" 2009
September 2010 - "Illustrious" - Berkshire Salon

2008 and 2009 - Illustrator of promotional material and posters for
the Hoosac River Lights Festival and North Adams Open Studios,
Northern Berkshire County, Massachusetts

For further information, Robert Rendo can be contacted in the United States at 917-755-4092 September through June, and at 413-663-8828 and 917-755-4092 in July and August. He can be reached year round at

Contact Information
Mailing Address
Robert Rendo Illustration
243 Union Street, #308
North Adams, Massachusetts 01247
Phone Number
(917) 755-4092
Email Address
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917-755-4092 (Mobile)