Robbie Conal has been an in your face socio-political guerilla artist for decades.
You’ve seen his thought provoking pot shots of the high and mighty either plastered up around town or on the cover of LA Weekly since the Reagan Administration. His well-trained hand and well-turned phrases have captured and condensed moments he felt we all needed to consider.
“Ronald Reagan made me do it when he released all the mental patients out of the state system because he didn’t think it was the government's job to make all the citizens sane,” Conal said. “And I guess I am part of that. He made me re-crazy.”
Conal has had more mainstream showings of his work as he's evolved into an elder spokesman for both politics and art.
So it’s more than a little surprising that Conal’s latest venture is a book that seems to be dedicated to animals -- not politics. The book was inspired by Conal’s wife and partner in creation, Deborah Ross.
“My initial concept was to just take all the images that I could find around here -- and there are loads that the public hasn’t seen,” Ross said. “There are jellyfish, penguins and octopus... so my thought was to group them all together in a beautiful image book. It’s a book for the big kid in all of us.”
A closer look and you see that the irrepressible Conal cannot help but be true to himself -- after all, the books title is “Political Animal,” not animal politics. Political figures emerge in the art and onto the pages only to be re-examined side by side with their pets.
So Conal has come out of the shadows and into the full light of day and now into the publishing world. “Not Your Typical Political Animal” is not only the title of his book, but the title of the home grown artist activist himself. If you want a copy log onto RobbieConal.com.