Roberta Custer is a world-renowned artist known for her paintings of surreal landscapes and eclectic imaginary animals. She has made her way into pop culture with the Roberta Custer Images, a series of large digital prints that depict various celebrities in the place of her animal subjects. Pop stars like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift are depicted as striped zebras, while comedians like Amy Schumer are rendered as pink flamingos. Roberta custer images are displayed in the main dining room of her own restaurant, the Upper East Side’s vegan restaurant Roberta’s, and in other locations around town where she regularly appears with her zebra alter-ego.
The artist has no idea how many of her famous images make it into other people’s homes since they are glued to picture frames or posted on bedroom walls. Most of Roberta Custer’s original paintings have been sold to collectors over the years, though a few have remained as advertising posters for various brands. But even her personal artwork collection is now owned by a third party rather than by Roberta Custer herself. The art gallery that has snapped up Roberta Custer’s most valuable works is none other than billionaire David Geffen. The paintings were such a hit that shortly after posting them on Instagram — where they garnered thousands of likes — she started getting requests to make personalized pieces for people’s homes.
1. The Roberta Custer Paintings Are A Hilarious Take On Art
“One of the really cool things about doing the paintings, which I did because I was getting all these requests to do them,” Roberta said, “is painting a version of yourself and doing a version of your favorite artist as well.” The sprawling landscapes are designed to appear as if they are floating in an abstract space.
Some pieces feature multiple Rodas flying across the canvas while others have her floating among animals and nature scenes. The prints are based on photos that she took of actual environments, sky islands and wildlife. She is especially fond of her colorful reflections and mirrors and tends to paint herself more often than any other subject.
2. Roberta Custer Keeps Her Original Paintings
The art gallery that has snapped up Roberta Custer’s most valuable works is none other than billionaire David Geffen. The paintings were such a hit that shortly after posting them on Instagram — where they garnered thousands of likes — she started getting requests to make personalized pieces for people’s homes. “I’m like, Oh God, this is so much fun, let’s do it!
It was in the middle of my workday and I would find myself in the middle of a painting and think, Oh my God, I don’t have time to do this right now… And then two hours had gone by since I started it.” And unlike many of the “digital paintings” you see online, Roberta’s work is really done on an easel, using oils and acrylics. “It’s not like I’m painting on a phone, though if I did that would be cool. It would be like a magical thing that makes it move.”
3. Amy Schumer Fell In Love With Her Painting
The New York City-based artist started her animal-themed paintings in 2011 after helping her friend with an art show preview party. She was hired to paint a cow, and took it upon herself to make it unique by adding a mohawk and sunglasses onto the subject—and so Roberta Custer was born. Amy Schumer was so taken with her painting that she asked Roberta to recreate it. And while she never took the commission, Amy still has a red copy of it hanging in her New York City apartment. “She did it all on a whim,” Roberta said, who also owns some paintings of comedians like Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.
4.Roberta Custer’s Portfolio Contains Some Very Colorful Celebrity Portraits
The artist does not drink alcohol or do drugs and attributes her artistic inspiration to a positive existence in nature: “It’s not something that I ever wanted to create,” she said, “but I kind of got trapped into doing it. It’s a very hard image to get out of your mind, but I think it’s because I have spent so much time in nature and doing yoga.” Roberta Custer’s currently working on some more viral-worthy paintings. And she’s hoping her work will inspire other patrons to make their own art at home, since it’s such a simple process.
5. The Artist Is Super Involved With Her Community
The artist does not drink alcohol or do drugs and attributes her artistic inspiration to a positive existence in nature: “It’s not something that I ever wanted to create,” she said, “but I kind of got trapped into doing it.