I Should be in Charge: Bob and Roberta Smith


I Should be in Charge is the first book covering the complete work of the colorful and explosive British artist Patrick Brill, aka Bob and Roberta Smith.

Working through the conviction that art is a necessary and potent tool of democracy, this duo has made sign-writing key to its creative production. Bob and his alter ego, Roberta, use a playful attitude towards their work, which dismantles conventional barriers between elitist art and its viewer, and develops a language that uses humor as a weapon to voice concerns that are pertinent to, and addressed to all without exclusions. Slogans, painted on odd bits of timber or planks of wood display their humorous take on contemporary political issues. Bob and Roberta Smith produce art that operates on the social sphere.

In keeping with the irreverent attitude that informs the Smiths’ own identity, their artworks lure the viewer through playful comedic effects, making his subsequent confrontation with the deeper underlying issues at stake no longer avoidable. From comedic to political, obvious to revolutionary, I Should be in Charge reflects the multifaceted guises of the ‘singularly’ outspoken Bob and Roberta Smith.