How This Insta-Famous Artist Painted His Way Through Bergdorf Goodman
For emerging artists, there’s no better way to build a following than Instagram. And no one has proven to be a bigger success story than Donald Robertson. Known as the “Andy Warhol of Instagram,” Robertson (aka, @drawbertson) has built a massive fan base thanks to the social media platform. In addition to posting cheeky illustrations of celebs like Kanye West and Beyoncé, the artist shares personal ‘grams that really keep his followers hooked.
From posting hilarious videos of his twin sons to sharing photos of his dogs next to his artwork (he’s using them for scale, duh), Robertson keeps us perpetually entertained. And while he may already be an artistic staple of the fashion world, he’s only getting started.
His most recent undertaking? A new 300-page Assouline book, Donald: The Book ($85, assouline.com) which features his artwork as well as commentary from famous faces like Jeremy Scott and Sarah Jessica Parker.
“Discovering Donald is like recalling a bright, happy, vividly recalled moment from the past,” Parker says in the book. "His work and ideas of creativity are so wonderfully modern, very much his own, and I will treasure the pieces I have and those I get to see.”
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The world seems to agree. Fans came out in droves to celebrate the launch of the book earlier this month. Robertson hosted a party at Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, and the man of the hour barely had a moment to come up for air. Between greeting admirers and signing copies of his latest project (which was covered in hot pink Gaff tape in his signature manner), Robertson sipped a martini and chatted with friends like Iris Apfel and Nicky Hilton.
We caught up with Robertson at the event and asked the artist what prompted him to release a book at this stage in his career.
"I was art bombing Bergdorfs and they had all these Assouline books up in the book store,” he told InStyle. “I decided to start painting the covers of books and selling them on my Instagram with the hashtag #kissmyassouline. And people started buying them! I was eventually approached by Prosper Assouline—the founder of the publishing house—and he asked me what I was doing. My response? ‘Because I can.’ He asked me to do a book with them, and I said, ‘What the hell, why not? It’ll be chic!’ All of my favorite books are by Assouline, anyway."
As for his own favorite work of art featured in his book, Robertson couldn’t help but gush about the reversible cover. And we found out that it almost was another image entirely.
“I liked one piece for the cover and my wife, Kim [Gieske] liked another,” said Robertson. “We were really arguing about it, and I told her that I was going to go with the one I wanted. But she insisted that the one she liked was better. So I called Assouline to tell them that my wife liked the other cover, and they said, ‘The wife is always right.’ And that’s how we ended up with a reversible cover.”
Talk about relationship goals.