Bob Osborne's ancestry can be traced back through a long line of downtrodden peasants, convicts, rag-and-bone men, and all round riff raff; the heroic sort that has always scratched a dodgy living on the outside edge of society.
Bob Osborne is the son of a gypsy rag and bone man and his earliest memories were totting on a horse and cart in Notting Hill Gate in the 1960's. The family had a pet monkey called 'Wanker'. Osborne's great uncle was 'George the Giant' Auger, who was the second tallest man in the world in 1900 and Queen Victoria's private bodyguard. 'Captain' Auger travelled across America in freak shows with the Barnum and Bailey circus and appeared in silent movies with Harold Lloyd. Bob Osborne is the first male in his genealogical line to be able to read or write and he studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia. He has lived in a cave in Crete and had a studio on the beach in St Ives, Cornwall.
The Rebel Not Taken leitmotif runs through Bob Osborne's art. His work across mixed media is inherently imbued with the subversive and ribald imagery of an instinctive miscreant. Despite being a published poet, (A Moon in Leo, 1977), and possessing a keen philosophical and existential bent, Osborne prefers to create art with everyday materials and deconstruct found objects. He often incorporates lowbrow language and slang into his work and uses visual metaphors that draw extensively on popular culture and taboo humour.
The elements of Osborne's constructions and collages may be sourced from the sea, the market or the street and often combine sensual textures with the random wit of Surrealism. They reflect the unconventional nature of a free spirit and resonate with an underlying irony and moral relativism.
The earlier art of Bob Osborne, including the extensive work created from 1998 - 2015 from his studios in St Ives, Cornwall can be seen at