|Perhaps Thomas Hoving, former Director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, had Lebrón, along with Goya, in mind when he wrote in his latest book “that paintings executed entirely with the palette knife is an extremely difficult technique.”
Lebrón (1928-2013) was born in New York City. At the age of five, his parents separated. Robert went to Puerto Rico to live with a fisherman cousin who entertained him with tales of the sea. For four years Robert listened and with old grocery bags and pencils serving as canvas and palette knife he sketched his cousin’s tales. Thus, at age five, he started his lifetime devotion to art.
At the age of 14, he was admitted to New York’s High School of Music and Arts. After three years, his youthful impetuosity led him to join the United States Air Force. Lebrón served as a cartoonist for the base newspaper before joining the Air Force’s motion picture unit where he worked with several Disney artists.
Returning to New York, he studied at the Art Students League, whose former students listed Norman Rockwell, Fredric Remington, and Clark Hulings. After a week at the Art Students League, one of his mentors, Reginald Marsh, exclaimed, “Kid, you got it!”
Later, during a prolonged stay in Spain, Lebrón found that above all other artistic tools, the palette knife seemed the most natural. Combining a tremendous drawing ability with his sense of drama, he is able to capture the essence and humor of the street scene. From Paris to Vienna to London, each painting is full of life and tells its own story. Lebrón’s prestigious historical paintings depicting the struggles “The Donner Party” are exhibited in the Emigrant Trail Museum at Donner State Park in Truckee, California.
Ron Howard, Carol Burnett, and Jane Russell are among his many collectors. Lebrón supports the many programs of Courage Center, a nonprofit provider of rehabilitation and independent living services, that helps children and adults with disabilities live more independently. Both National Geographic and Cartier's have used Lebrón’s paintings on their Christmas cards. First Prize at the Washington Square Art Show for his rendition of the beginning construction of the World Trade Center and the Forbes Magazine Award are among his most cherished of the many awards received during a lifetime as a successful artist.
The Robert Lebrón logo represents a tiny dog inspired by the comic strip, “Dickie Dare”, which is present in each painting.
**Update – August, 2013……..It is with regret that we inform you that Robert Lebron, one of the artists that we represent, has passed away. For those that had the opportunity to meet him, he was always cheerful and telling interesting and intriguing stories from his past. He served in the military and traveled to Paris, France on many occasions. His trademark paintings were those of famous scenes from Paris and always rendered in palette knife....he was a master at it. We will miss him dearly, but his paintings will continue to live on.