Robert MacArthur is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon. As an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, and later at Columbia Medical School, he made an intense study of anatomy. In the true Renaissance tradition of masters, like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Dr. MacArthur spent years studying directly from the human cadaver. Added to this foundation are years of compassionate involvement with people from all walks of life in his medical practice. This deep layering of experience gives him an unparalleled knowledge of the human anatomy, and a sensitivity to the universal concerns of humanity-- and from this his artistic expression emerges.
Every time Robert MacArthur touches the clay, his gestures are informed by his years as a surgeon, but an even more powerful force is at work: he is driven to sculpt with all the intensity and emotion of his personality. All of the elements of his experience and his nature become focused on the act of creating sculpture: the athleticism and drive that makes him a veteran runner of Marathons all over the world, the deep compassion he feels as one intimately connected to healing, and the keen understanding he has of muscles in motion-all combine to make his sculpture unique and vital.
As MacArthur acknowledges, "I know static anatomy better than most people on the planet, however I am a very active student of surface anatomy and muscle shapes/positions during motion. I have learned that the act of drawing helps me to remember and record that observation. I now work intensively and independently with models of extraordinary athletic ability."
Robert MacArthur created a series called "Body Control" in 2005. These pieces, featuring three modern dancers and three classical gymnasts show the relatedness of dance and gymnastics-and the expressive beauty of both.
His most recent series' are extensions of this. His "Dance" series shows the power, grace and passion of the modern ballerina. His "Decathlon" series shows the beautiful motion of ultimate effort. His "Love" series explores the comfort, fun, and security of romantic love.
"I have high personal and professional goals for my sculpture. I want to accurately portray life all over the earth, the beautiful and the horrible, starvation, terrorism, teenage love, the beauty of a loving family, hoping that a three dimensional 'picture' will help connect us even more, help us to take care of each other."