Bob and Roberta Smith RA (b. 1963)

Bob and Roberta Smith is the pseudonym of the artist Patrick Brill. Born in London, he studied at the University of Reading from (1981-1985) and Goldsmiths College (1991).

He trained as a sign painter in New York and uses text as an art form, creating colourful slogans on banners and placards that challenge elitism and advocate the importance of creativity in politics and education.

His best known works are Make Art Not War (1997) and Letter to Michael Gove (2011), a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Education reprimanding him for the “destruction of Britain’s ability to draw, design and sing”.

His curatorial projects include Art U Need: An Outdoor Revolution, which transformed public spaces in the Thames Gateway (2005-2006), and Peace Camp at The Brick Lane Gallery (2006), an exploration of artists’ perceptions of peace. A regular speaker at conferences and symposia, he initiated the Arts’ Party Conference 2013, a forum for artists and organisations to debate the role of art and design in schools.

As well as hosting a radio show called Make Your Own Damn Music on Resonance FM, Bob and Roberta Smith is a writer and musician, often performing with the Ken Brasley Playboy band. In 2009, he was appointed as a Tate Trustee and he is currently Associate Professor at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University.


Royal Academician


Born: 1963 in London, England, United Kingdom

Nationality: British

Elected RA: 11 December 2013

Gender: Male

Preferred media: Painting

Works by Bob and Roberta Smith in the RA Collection

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Associated books

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