Robert Olson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, interned in Seattle, was a major in the Air force in Fairbanks, Alaska, and met his life partner Mark while practicing medicine in Duluth, Minnesota.
Art and art history attracted him, painting Russian icons between studies. A self taught, Art Naif style painter, he paints vignettes of life. His medium is acrylic on canvas. He was influenced by the simplistic nudes of Hockney and the poses of David and the French Beaux Arts. The heroic male nude has been portrayed in the monumental art of France, which has become my second home. The gigantic nude Hercules in the vast garden of Chateau Vaux Le Vicompte shows a revival of the Greco-Roman admiration of the male form. Painting has provided the perfect foil for a scientific and analytic profession. The colors, shapes, light patterns heroic and casual poses exercise the aesthetic right brain.
He was also attracted to the naive backgrounds and domestic scenes the figures of Chagall seen to float through.