Last week, on September 11 inside Bergdorf Goodman’s new “Linda’s” section on the fourth floor, art and fashion worlds collided for the release of Donald “Drawbertson” Robertson’s new book, published by Assouline. Guests like Iris Apfel, Mia Moretti, Alexandre Assouline, and Nicky Hilton Rothschild joined Fargo in welcoming the artist’s new book, while other attendees lined up to have books signed while enjoying light bites like mini burgers and Fruity Pebble dessert pops.
The artist known for his colorful illustrations of fashionable women, animals, and other chic imagery, is also known for his funky collaborations with big brands like J. Crew, Funboy, and Smashbox. His flamboyant personality is an industry favorite, as are his iconic illustrations that are colorful, fun, and exaggerated.
In addition to his book release, Bergdorf Goodman will be auctioning off a painted bike and surfboard by Donald, with all proceeds donated to the ArtsConnection foundation—an organization founded in 1979 to make arts an integral part of education. The silent auction is set up on the fourth floor through the next week.
At the event, we spoke to Donald about his art spark and his new book.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about how you began illustrating. What was the spark?
DONALD ROBERTSON: 50 years ago, kids didn’t have mobile phones. We didn’t even really get a ton of toys, and TV was bad and black and white!!! So, as a Canadian boy with visions of a big art life, all I had was pencils and paper.
WW: Have you been inspired by anything specific recently?
DR: I am inspired hourly by everyone I follow on Instagram. I actually may explode from it all.
WW: What is included in your new book?
DR: The book is everything I’ve been working on the last four years. From doodles to large scale paintings and everything in between. I can’t believe that Prosper Assouline and Camille, the art director, even managed to edit it so well. You really can’t explain it. But flip through it in a book store. It’s crazy.
WW: As a father of five, do you think differently about how art plays a role in the lives of young ones? Is there anything in particular you are excited to show the youth of today?
DR: I’m excited for my five kids and others to see that you can be a schmo from Canada with an extremely unpopular name, and by working hard, you can scam getting a coffee table book of all your work!