Robert Waters was born in 1974 in London, Canada, and raised in the small town of Parkhill in rural Southwestern Ontario. He attended Sir Frederick Banting High School in London, where he studied art under the expert tutelage of Mary Redekop. In 1993 he was accepted on scholarship to York University in Toronto to study Visual Arts. While at York he was curator of Winters Gallery, a member of the men’s varsity volleyball team, and participated in an exchange program to Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. He graduated with honours in 1998.
In the years following university, Robert investigated various creative methodologies while working as a graphic designer, a picture framer, and assistant director of Miriam Shiell Fine Art. During this time, Robert’s most productive creative outlet was making artwork with Simon Dragland, where collage and appropriation were explored in an open, collaborative practice.
In 2005 Robert held his first solo exhibition, “Man”, at Toronto’s pm Gallery, followed by an exhibition at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. The following year Robert exhibited with Satchel Gallery in Toronto, and at MOT in London, UK.
In 2007 Robert moved to Mexico City to focus on his art practice. Later that year he held his second solo exhibition, “Loincloth“, at pm Gallery, and participated in exhibitions at Kunsthallen Brænderigården in Denmark, and the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. In 2008, he exhibited in “Agitar Antes de Usar (Shake Before Using)”, an exhibition of international artists working in site-specific installation, at Artium, a museum in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
In 2009, Robert held his third solo exhibition, “Shooter”, at pm Gallery in Toronto, and participated in the group exhibition “Dos Maletas: Nada que Declarar” at Cali Contemporaneo in Colombia. In the same year he received a project grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for his first solo museum exhibition, “Taparrabo”, at Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City. This exhibition garnered serious critical attention, most notably a review in Art in America. His final project for the exhibition was a Conceptual Art Workshop for the Blind, which also acquired significant attention, and is currently being developed for implementation through international museums and organizations for the blind.
In 2010 Robert presented his first solo exhibition in Asia at Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. The following year, 2011, he participated in ArtGigTokyo, as well as presenting his project “uncover RECOVER” at Artium, a museum of contemporary art in the Basque region of Spain. For this project, Robert cultivated medicinal plants from the soil obtained from mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and distributed the plants to the Basque community. In the fall of 2011, Robert presented his solo exhibition “Malefactor” at the new pm Gallery exhibition space in Toronto, after which he moved to the Basque region of Spain to complete his masters at the Universidad del País Vasco.