Art U Need: My Part in The Public Art Revolution


Art U Need: My Part in The Public Art Revolution


24 × 18 cm | 7 × 9.5 in
46 ills | 160 pages

Author: Bob and Roberta Smith

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In 2005, artists Bob and Roberta Smith were appointed by Commissions East to oversee a project in which five artists were tasked with creating site-specific projects to transform open spaces in the south of Essex. Art U Need: My Part in the Public Art Revolution is an intimate account of this project, written in diary form. With sensitivity, candour and a great deal of humour, Bob Smith and his alter ego, Roberta, ponder the nature and place of public art in today’s world.

Art U Need is a refreshing addition to the art debate, providing a unique insight into the workings of the artists' minds. Through their remarkably honest approach, Bob and Roberta Smith manage to encapsulate the larger issues surrounding the roles of funding bodies, self-expression and, of course, the public in public art today.

Similar in feel to our earlier title with Bob and Roberta, Make Your Own Damn Art, the book is a beautiful object as well as a useful resource. The text is complemented by a vivid design, and illustrated with original photography and artwork by the Smiths and the other artists involved, making the book itself as quirky and unique as its contents.

Charming and accessibly written, Art U Need will appeal to young artists, students and the world of public art equally. Through his musings and arguments with Roberta, Bob allows the reader a glimpse into the artists' lives and minds, and an observation of the world of public art today that is illuminating, honest and lighthearted.

Bob and Roberta Smith is the pseudonym of Patrick Brill, one of London’s most instantly recognisable and colourful artists. Noted for his radical sign painting, cement sculptures and other urban installations, he has recently shown work at The Brick Lane Gallery, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Hales Gallery, and exhibited internationally, notably at the Pierogi Gallery in New York.