Robert Hooke is an international artist who studied sculpture under Herbert Kallem at the New York School of Visual Arts during the 1970's. In 1976 he moved to London where he has worked until recently returning to Sag Harbor. Although originally trained to carve marble, he has adopted his style of expression to bronze by carving hard plaster blocks. This material maintains the broad smooth surface area and subtle, flowing lines found in his stonework. He then finishes the bronze by using a patina which retains the rich surface appearance of marble. During his time in London, Hooke had several one-man exhibitions as well as shows in Geneva, Basel, Sydney, Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has also shown work in Zurich, Amsterdam and San Francisco. He has done numerous successful commissions and has sculpture in Compton Acres Public Park in England and the Harry Oppenheimer Collection in South Africa.
When asked how he approaches the artistic representation of a figure or animal, he often quotes the jazzman Miles Davis who famously said "creativity is not the notes you put in, but the ones you leave out." Hooke feels that leaving some space for individual interpretation and emotional reaction is critical when exhibiting a work based on recognizable subjects. He leads the viewer toward his vision by providing the basic visual elements that are characteristic of the animal or, in his figurative work, of the human emotion. The position of the head or shoulders in humans or the extension of the neck in wild cats, or ears in or out on an elephant is where the truth is seen, not necessarily in the words or sounds which can easily be misunderstood.