A painter and illustrator, Jonathan Dobin was born 1955 in Bronx, New York and is the second son of Jerome A. Dobin and Rose Dobin; brother of illustrator/cartoonist Bart Frederic Dobin and uncle of illustrator Judah Ben Dobin.
Mr. Dobin is primarily self-taught. From the age of 9 through his teens, he was influenced by the works of Albrecht Dürer and the late German Renaissance artists. This influence is clearly visible in his early works in ball point pen, India ink and quill pen, watercolor and oil from around 1969 to 1974. A linear assuredness, acute attention to detail and an archaic and often grotesque representation of portraiture are clearly evident. As commercial commissions became more prevalent in the late 1970’s his style became more varied and overall approach more spontaneous, though still possessing areas of great control contrasted against those freely wrought. Line quality and the molding of form remain prime interests.
At age 12 he began showing in New Jersey, garnering numbers of awards. A work entitled Surreal Landscape which he painted with his older brother, Bart, was purchased by the municipality of Bergenfield and was on display in the library from 1971 until 2002. At 17 he began pursuing a career as a freelance illustrator and also began receiving numerous private commissions.
Commercial illustration commissions included National Lampoon Magazine; Racquet Magazine; The New York Daily News, Legendary Recording and others. In 1979 he became the Director of Publicity at Herbert Barrett Management, the youngest ever to be appointed there. He won several awards for works at Arts Interaction exhibits in New York from 1997 through 1999.
From 1982 to 1991 Mr. Dobin turned significant attention to his pursuits in music: directing an award-winning chamber ensemble MUSE, arranging and composing works for films, choirs and ensembles, and producing a performing edition of The Beggar’s Opera which was praised by The New York Times and performed throughout the United States.
Mr. Dobin put his creative life on hold from 1992 to 1995 as he recovered from a near-fatal hit-and-run accident. He now resides in Newburgh, New York, where he is once again active in the visual and performing arts.
Conversations and correspondence with the artist on the occasions of commissioning several works from him.
Submitted by Gina Crusco
Jonathan Dobin was the featured artist in Delaware & Hudson Canvas Magazine, May 2009
2010 Group Show at Newburgh Free Library, Newburgh, New York