Art U Need

My Part in the Public Art Revolution

Diary, Essex, Public Art
24.0 x 18.0 cm
Original Language


Artist Bob and Roberta Smith was recently appointed by Commissions East to oversee a project in which five artists were commissioned to create site-specific projects to transform open spaces in South Essex.Art U Need: My Part in the Public Art Revolution is an intimate account of this project, written in diary form. With sensitivity, candour and a great deal of humour, Bob Smith, and his alter ego, Roberta, ponder the nature and place of public art in today’s world.


Art U Need is a refreshing addition to the art debate, providing a unique insight into the workings of the artist’s mind. Through his remarkably honest approach Bob and Roberta Smith manages to encapsulate the larger issues surrounding the roles of funding bodies, self-expression and, of course, the public, in public art today.

Similar in feel to our previous title with Bob and Roberta, Make Your Own Damn Art, the book is a beautiful object as well as a useful resource. The text is complemented by edgy design and vividly illustrated with original photography and artwork by Smith and the other artists involved, making the book itself as quirky and unique as its contents.

Charming and accessibly written, Art U Need: My Part in the Public Art Revolution will appeal to young artists, students and the world of public art equally. Through his musings and arguments with his alter-ego Roberta, Smith allows the reader a glimpse into the artist’s life and mind, and a fascinating observation of the world of public art today that is illuminating, honest and lighthearted.

Bob and Roberta Smith is the pseudonym of Patrick Brill, one of London’s most instantly recognisable and colourful artists. Noted for his radical sign painting, cement sculptures and other urban installations, he has recently shown work at The Brick Lane Gallery, The Baltic Centre, The Hales Gallery and exhibited internationally, notably at the Perogi Gallery in New York.