Robert Langford’s appearance is all Texan – he’s gray-haired, lean, and tall in casually fitted blue jeans and button-down – but his demeanor is total artist: the first thing you notice is how soft-spoken, present, and inquisitive a person he is.
Langford is an abstract-impressionist painter whose work can be found throughout the city between his corporate clients and his studio. His paintings are also displayed in Santa Fe and at Alan Simmons Art + Design in Dallas.
He says he was always fascinated by color, contrast, and texture. His art is fluid and expressive; you can see the multiple layers and ideas blurring together on the canvas. In addition to his striking works, which ranges from bright, busy colors to muted, soft palettes, he has also ventured into textiles with rugs designs for Surya.
“Painting is the language I have, the way I communicate,” Langford says. “The biggest thing for an artist is finding your voice, and that’s a work in progress. The way I find mine is constantly changing.”
Your favorite color:
Lately I’ve been drawn to the inky richness of indigo — it has depth and its own backstory. I like the contrast it creates near lighter colors or white.
Your favorite gallery/museum you’ve seen:
My wife and I visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and loved seeing the work of the impressionists and post-impressionists in person.
One word for what the world would be without art:
The type of paintbrush you use:
No particular brand, but I buy them in bulk. All that matters to me is that I have plenty close by.
The artist you most admire:
One of many is American sculptor Richard Serra. He asks us to move “in, through, around” his large-scale installations and view art from different perspectives.
Langford grew up in a small East Texas town before moving to Charlotte in 1996. At the time, Langford had a high-powered commercial real-estate career and painted on the side. After living in the Queen City for a few years, he began planning a move back to Texas to be with family. That changed after meeting the woman who would become his wife in a chance encounter on the street one day. The rest is history: with the encouragement of Velma,Langford left his 9-5 in 2000 and has been creating art full-time since.
“I looked at my life and said I have to do something, I can’t wait. I learned who was doing what and when and where and tried to grow from that.”
His marketing and business background have served him well in his path. Langford is methodical and thoughtful – he knows who to reach out to, how to network, and was able to kickstart his current career by sharing studio spaces with other artists in empty SouthPark storefronts. A few years ago, he was able to get his own studio, also in SouthPark. You can visit the space or find more about his latest exhibitions at robertlangfordstudio.com