Artist Profile: RORSHACH

(Robert Ramone and Andre León)
Clifton, Passaic County

Deeply immersed in graffiti culture while growing up in Newark, Robert Ramone has been sharing his  love of this art form in the public sphere since 2011. And while Robert was making his mark on the city’s  gritty streets, Andre León was in his Newark home sketching portraits with charcoal. 

In 2016, the two merged their talents and sensibilities and created RORSHACH. Straddling the line  between urban art and fine art, RORSHACH combines masterly portraiture with a distinct graphic flair,  both on the streets and in their studios.  

“I see myself as a bridge between graffiti and street art,” says Robert. “Graffiti is my passion. But it is  street art that can pave the way to a career.” Both Robert and Andre are delighted that galleries and  museums are increasingly embracing art fashioned by graffiti and street artists.  

RORSHACH’s distinctive aesthetic on the streets and in corporate settings is increasingly garnering  attention. The duo’s talents have become an integral part of the visual landscape not only in their native  Newark, but also in neighboring Jersey City and Montclair as well. And while Robert continues to curate  Newark’s Abington Walls, the city’s premier graffiti space, he and Andre busily work on commissioned  murals. 

Both artists are continually pushing themselves and their boundaries. Robert is relentlessly honing  his skills to bring what he does on the street onto canvas, and Andre is steadily mastering the  techniques that painting on city walls demand. They attribute their distinctly infectious body of work  and sumptuous choice of colors to their Latin American roots—Robert’s from El Salvador and Andre’s  from Ecuador. 

In 2019, the duo held their first solo exhibition, hosted by the arts incubator Express Newark. While they  generally complete large murals within five days, they can spend up to two months on a studio piece.  They are also on a mission. “We feel obligated to voice stories of struggle,” states Robert, RORSHACH’s  spokesperson. “In my case, it is growing up in the inner city.” Referencing their style and subject matter  as Afrofuturism, they are particularly passionate about showcasing women of color. “And we are always  evolving,” says Robert. “Each day, something new inspires us.”  

Among the duo’s recent, hugely impressive public artworks are those at Newark’s Four Corners Public  Arts Project and at the first Jersey City Mural Festival. “We are thrilled with the recent opportunities that  have come our way both in the public sphere and in corporate settings,” comments Robert. “We look  forward to painting more huge buildings while traveling across the country.”

 

RORSHACH is a featured artist in On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey.


Generous support for On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey is provided by the Joseph Robert Foundation and Loop Colors.
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Image Caption: RORSHACH, Purple Rain, Aerosol, 2021, 13 ½’ x 20’. Photo courtesy Sara C. Mozeson

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