Ronald Forbes is primarily a painter but has also experimented with film throughout his career. Predominantly a figurative painter, he feels the term 'imagist' may be more appropriate since the human figure in his work is usually de-constructed and re-assembled, synthesised from a range of fragments of images which carry traces of recognition from their source, while gaining a different identity in their new juxtaposition. These fragments are painted illusionistically as if collaged, sometimes even including the effect of the torn edge of the paper.
The term 'imagist' is also appropriate since Forbes exhibited in Chicago for many years, counting many of the renowned Chicago Imagists as friends.
His work, both paintings and films, is about belief, illusion and reality, and the fuzzy edges between these. The viewer becomes a necessary participant in this imaginative dialogue.