The Kaleidoscopic Art of Robert Gunderman

Artists with distinct styles are my favorite kind. That’s why I admire the artwork of Robert Gunderman. He is a Southern California artist known for his abstract landscapes and skyscapes. I love how he takes imagery that is common and presents it in such a unique way. He skillfully patchworks together a myriad of abstract images.

About the Artist

Artist Robert Gunderman sitting in front of two of his large paintings.

Robert Gunderman is both a painter and a performance artist. He likes to mix different themes like landscape and technology in his artwork. His art elicits feelings of solitude and wonder. You’ll see glimpses of different themes merged together in one piece giving the art a kaleidoscopic effect. 

The Artist’s Inspiration

Robert takes a lot of his inspiration from nature. He is fascinated by the way trees communicate with each other and how they care for each other when thirsty or sick. He owns his own ranch and has planted thousands of trees that inspire his paintings. A wide range of other themes also appears in his work from interstellar space to the dark seabed.

A gallery space featuring Robert Gunderman's artwork.

His background as a soldier and small-arms specialist at FORSCOM is another influence in his work. FORSCOM was the center of U.S. military special operations focused on rapid-response expeditionary deployments. During this time, he was part of a unit trained to be anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. It required him to stay close to base at Ft. Bragg. He lived in the tension between confinement and waiting with the random possibility of extreme urgency and intensity. Under these conditions is when he started to paint.

Robert Gunderman’s Artwork

Her Warm Touch, Our Sun

Robert Gunderman's abstract art piece with warm colors.

I appreciate the warm colors in this oil on canvas painting. Obscure faces and images merge together creating an overall look that is malleable and uncertain. I love how the lines in the middle resemble sun rays as the name of the painting suggests.


Abstract painting with yellow and blue contrast.

I love the contrast of the blue and yellow in this painting. The shades of blue and the star shape on the top right corner make me think that this piece was inspired by space. The strokes of other colors blended in adds more visual interest to the painting and give it a raw look.

Old Friends

An abstract painting with organic colors and cartoon faces.

The faces camouflaged in Robert Gunderamn’s artwork are often inspired by children’s cartoons. His visual imagination was first ignited by the surreal absurdity of early Looney Tunes animation after all. What makes his paintings so interesting is that they give off a sense of disorientation. The viewer craves to make sense of the grouping of images to no avail.


A mysterious abstract painting with spherical shapes.

The spherical shapes in this piece draw the viewer in. The painting slightly resembles an eyeball. It could also be inspired by looking down a gun sight inspired by his time as a soldier. The darker shades in this painting evoke a sense of mystery.


An abstract painting with a talking mouth and fingers.

This piece stands apart from the rest since it has fewer disparate images merged together. A distorted talking mouth and a couple of fingers are clearly visible contrasted with abstract shapes in the background.

Systems Values

An abstract painting with organic colors.

It’s hard to make out any images in this abstract oil on canvas. However, I like the organic colors and the proportions of this piece. The proportions and visible lines bring a sense of order to this abstract painting. It’s a nice contrast of both order and chaos.

I hope you enjoyed exploring the distinctive abstract art of Robert Gunderman. Although this type of art is not for everyone, they do make excellent conversation pieces. The ambiguity of his art is what sets him apart from the rest.

Want to explore more artists? Check out the mixed media of Sei Shimura or the kinetic pop art of Patrick Rubinstein.