Robert Kuester received certification from the American Portrait Society in 1984, with this commendation from the Jury: “He exhibits a keen sense of color quality…an excellent flow in composition…a high degree of drawing ability… (and) skill and understanding in values.” Armed with these formidable talents, Kuester achieves in his portraits accurate likenesses of his subjects, and his paintings stand as works of art in their own right. His commissions in oil portraiture have included Milburn Stone (“Doc” in the TV series Gunsmoke) for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, as well as executives, educators and deans, accomplished women, and members of the judiciary and clergy.
Kuester, who started his artistic career as an illustrator, has painted many prominent individuals. For CBS Fox Videos, he has done illustrations of Shelly Duvall, Jean Stapleton, Mathew Broderick, Pam Dawber, Treat Williams, and others. For 15 years, he produced illustrations for Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, and American Motors, as well as for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Doubleday, Bendix, Rockwell International, McDonald’s, Trader Vic’s, and General Tire.
A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Kuester also studied in New York with Robert Brackman of the Art Students League and with John Howard Sanden. Since the Mid-1970’s, he has received top awards at prestigious art shows around the United States.
Kuester works primarily from photographs and for larger portraits often paints an initial oil sketch from life. His distinctive and dramatic style features the use of rich and elegant color to enhance his subject. Environmental backgrounds, whether simple or detailed, are always used appropriately.
A Kuester portrait has a singularly lifelike quality, which may be attributed to his loose, yet certain, brushwork and to the characteristically excellent likeness he achieves of his subject. Kuester prefers an informal meeting with his subject prior to beginning a portrait, to observe gesture, temperament, coloring, environment, and expression. It is the task of the portraitist, he feels, to “edit” these collected impressions and interpret them with artistic discretion and judgment; the best portrait, he says, is well grounded in observation, but created with intuition.