My name is Riley Robinson. I was born on the island of Okinawa, Japan. When I was born, the islanders thought I was blind. Because I had green eyes.
I am the middle child of five. I had dark curly hair. My siblings had straight blond hair. I don’t remember if anyone ever thought my brothers or sister were blind.
I’ve been welding since I was fourteen. I make a lot of sculpture in metal and wood. Mostly my sculpture is the color of metal or wood. Sometimes I work with video and sound. I try not to paint.
When I was a kid I saw a photograph of Clara Barton in her house Which had been turned into a museum. The photo was in black and white.
Clara Barton was a nurse who started the Red Cross.But it turns out she wasn’t really a nurse.
She worked in the fields at Antietam where 23,000 people were killed in a single day.
In some of those photographs they moved the bodies.
I remember the picture of Clara Barton. The famous nurse in black and white. Her eyes followed you as you walked around the room.
The elementary school kids oohed and aahed. Watching the picture watching us.
When I was born, they said I would be blind.
The last time I made a video sculpture I filmed my face as I read from biographies about artists whose paintings hung in the gallery.
Arthur Dove, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe I wasn’t in that piece I passed along what other people have said.
(I wondered what Edward Hopper thought When people said his paintings looked “lonely”)
A reviewer called my video piece “Riley Robinson’s in-your-face video project”
(I don’t talk about my work much.)
In Edwards Hopper’s self-portrait at the Whitney He looks right at you. His eyes follow you around the room.
I am getting married To a painter, in color She has light hair, green eyes the middle child of three.
Everyone knows that Mr. Green Jeans wore green overalls. They watched him on black and white television. Then he would enter as Mr. Bainter the Painter. In people’s living rooms, on black and white televisions.
Mr. Green Jeans was actually a musician.
Clara Barton wasn’t really a nurse.
My name is Riley Robinson.
I was born on the island of Okinawa, Japan. When I was born, the islanders thought I was blind. Because I have green eyes.