Bob Partington

ThingamaBob, Bob Partington

After a year studying painting at l’Atelier Libre in Aix-en-Provence, Bob returned to Canada to study mechanical engineering at Queen’s University, graduating with a BFA. Bob completed his studies at New York University and obtained a Masters Degree in 1997.

Bob remained in New York for 10 years, creating inventions and showing them in the art scene. He has been favorably reviewed by critics Roberta Smith of the New York Times and November Paynter of Art Forum.

Directly out of NYU, Bob spent six months restoring the bronze sculptures of Central Park and then a summer building sculpture in Mark Di Suvero’s Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. Bob continued making elaborate mechanical sculptures, which he funded himself by making stop-motion animation for clients such as MTV and Disney. He also worked as a production designer on music videos for bands including the “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” and “Metric.”

In 2005, Bob traded his Brooklyn studio for a storefront in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul. There he worked on inventions and paintings and participated in the Istanbul Biennial, among other projects. He was featured on Turkish TV and in “34 Magazine” and “Time out Istanbul.” During this time, Bob also showed his work in Tokyo, Turino, Dubai, Barcelona and Toronto.

In 2009 Bob moved back to Brooklyn, where he now lives and works. He continues to show his mechanical creations around the world, as well as direct and design for TV and print. Bob has also taken on the role of consultant, giving talks at corporate head offices, and consulting at car plants in Mexico City.

Bob’s approach to inventing comes from his interest in energy, and its modes of transference: Energy moved in perfect conservation, or in complete chaos—as well as the sublime potentiality of stored energy, like with the charged battery cell or the can of spray paint. This pursuit has led him to explore a variety of materials and technologies that are not always consistent with traditional fabrication. Also, the challenge of constant relocation has required Bob to improvise, innovate and assimilate utilitarian practices and material compromises local to the environments he has chosen to work in.