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Westchester Artist Sees Popularity Skyrocket Thanks To Social Media

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A Westchester artist is using social media to share his work and has been gaining popularity in the process.

As a cosmetics company founder, Donald Robertson has a fashion sense, but it’s his keen eye for instant images that has attracted attention.

Robertson’s art is filled with pop culture references and is often compared to the work of
Andy Warhol.

“God knows I rip off Andy Warhol like on a daily basis. What I really want to be known as, I want to be the Pharrell of art. I want to be the happy guy. Pharrell is just the best,” he said.

As CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson explained, Robertson has used gaffers tape, paint, and whatever else he has in his Larchmont home studio to produce thousands of colorful images that have been inspired by everything from fashion to celebrity to the World Cup.

The artist was one of the original founders of Mac Cosmetics. He has worked with several fashion magazines, and is currently the head of creative development for Estee Lauder.

“Anybody who’s ever worked for me has like a hundred drawings of themselves, but this is a chance for me to sort of go global,” Robertson explained.

Robertson has joined a new breed of artist, gaining popularity and acclaim through the photo sharing app Instagram. ‘Donald Drawbertson’ as he has been called online has more than 60,000 followers.

Robertson told CBS 2′s Johnson that he doesn’t want to miss out on what’s going on in the world.

“If you draw or paint anybody taller and thinner and younger than they actually really are, you are going to be very popular,” he said.

As a father of five, Robertson’s home life can be quite busy. He manages to juggle a lot of balls and turns the ordinary into art.

“First of all I don’t take the trash out, I turn it into art. So that’s ah, that’s one job,” he said. “The way Andy Warhol would turn to celebrities to be inspired, I turned to suburbia. I love a grocery store. There is nothing that makes me happier than a wall of cereal in like a Stop And Shop. I like the idea of things that are sort of like, that have a feeling of Target, but also have a feeling of prestige.”

Robertson even has a different view of grocery bags.

“I see a lot of grocery store bills, actually. This wall should be called ‘feeding five kids,’” he said.

In June Robertson had his first solo exhibit at the Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton.

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