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Mike Linskie: The Estate of Robert J. Lang

Mike Linskie - the Estate of Robert J. Lang 

CPM is proud to present Mike Linskie - the Estate of Robert J. Lang.  This exhibition will run from March 29 – April 10, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 29, 6:30 – 8:30pm.

In 2015, Mike Linskie purchased a stack of over 300 drawings by a man named Robert J. Lang at a flea market next to an RV park in Jacksonville,Florida. Over the next several years, this collection of drawings and the real and imagined biography of Robert J. Lang began to intermingle with his own life and work.  This exhibition presents Mike Linskie’s and Robert J. Lang’s drawings together—reflecting and informing each other.

I’m a very sick person

It is likely that Robert J. Lang’s drawings were made while spending months or years in a Florida hospital bed around the year 2004.  Though it is unclear what kept him in the hospital for so long, Lang wrote notes on the back of the drawings that provide some insight into his life and circumstance:

- He was a veteran
- He had a family and friends: Mrs. Lang, John Lang, George, Luize’s son, Brian, Patterson,  Karry (owner of truck), Sherrie, Kathy
- There are dozens of 1-800 numbers and notes for doctors and lawyers
- He may have suffered from lung cancer, specifically Mesothelioma
- May have needed false teeth

Lang’s obsessive drawings may have been a way to cope with pain or the prospect of death.  Each millimeter of paper is densely covered with marker, pen, and glitter gel pens—manic patterns, and psychedelic swirling motifs.  But they are more than just a way to pass time—each drawing is also signed and claimed as a finished work. The massive quantity of these finished drawings and the psychological weight of the context in which they were made begins to illuminate Lang’s mental state. 

There is something hiding in plain site in both Mike Linskie’s and Robert J. Lang’s works.  The fissure between how the drawings look and what they represent opens into a vast loneliness. The drawings are colorful, flamboyant, crafty, friendly, idiosyncratic—they are heavy.

Mike Linskie (Born 1987, New Jersey) lives and works in Queens, New York.  He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2014) and a BA from Temple University (2010).  Collecting is a major part of Linskie’s practice—he has collections of Celebrity autographs inscribed “To Mike,” finger obstruction photographs, Mexican Spider-Man marionettes, Carnival chalk, frog postcards, and quilts.

Images Courtesy Etienne Frossard

Earlier Event: February 22
King of Cold
Later Event: May 17
Andrew Brehm - Flamingo