Robert Alexander Womack aka “RAW” was born April 9, 1956, the oldest of 7 children in Halifax, Virginia. He was a fraternal twin and the oldest boy born to an African American father and a Cherokee Indian mother. Bob was a precocious and ambitious child. He worked to help the family after his parent’s divorce at the age of 14. He attempted to help his mother raise the rest of the kids while saving money for college. These early influences would later come into play when he worked with the LA gang kid’s charity, “Give Kids a Break”, over a 6 -year period of time. He worked with over 850 kids returning them to responsible, productive members of society.
He finished his high school years in Albany, New York in 1974. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Advertising in Fine Arts in 1977, a BA degree in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1979. He graduated from the Academy of Television and Drama in 1983.
He has worked for places such as Cianni Jewelry as a freelance graphic artist, and later at Macy’s Harrold’s Square on 34th Street as the Art Director for 3 years. He worked at Acorn Graphics doing litigation graphics for 3 years, working as a mechanical artist at Young and Rubicon Advertising Agency for 2 years, and several other add agencies over a 10 year span until meeting his future business partner and best friend, Steve Allen Kauffman.
He grew up loving art and wanted to be part of it. He started in response to an ad in Boy’s Life Magazine for a cartoon at the age of 13. When he received a response that he was very advanced for his age and should continue with his pursuit in drawing and art, he knew he had found what his passion was.
His high school art teacher in Albany, Miss Keeney, took a liking to the young teenager and encouraged him and his talents. She encouraged his artwork and as a result, he sold 2 of his oil paintings at the local high school art show at the age of 15. She continued to encourage him to go on to college and although he had many to choose from, he was excited when he was selected to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was in Manhattan, the heart of New York City, at FIT where he majored in illustration, fine arts, graphics, advertising, interior design, art history, and calligraphy. In his graduating years, he also took acting and radio broadcasting classes.
He met what was to be his future partner in business, Steve Kaufman in 1988 in the Riverdale Bronx area one cold freezing morning. In 2 degree below zero weather while trying to get his motorcycle started, Bob remembers hearing a voice saying “It won’t start ,will it?”. This simple jovial conversation started the unlikely pairing of Bob and the young Jewish entrepreneur. They found they had much in common.
Among many things, Steve’s business partner at that time happened to be working with Bob at Morgan Stanley. A fast friendship and business partnership followed and they decided to do several business projects together. Steve Kauffman had been a former assistant of the famous artist named Andy Warhol in his teenage years. He had been attempting to follow the pop artist culture ever since and had an ongoing relationship with Andy Warhol. When Bob worked on the early projects with Steve, he had some definite influence in the way they did art together.
They also would do projects like promoting disco clubs in the Manhattan area. Being a disc jockey, bartender and security Bob advertised and helped promote the shows successfully over a 3- year period of time. They attempted several art shows together in Manhattan, selling pop and fine art paintings.
In the summer of 1993 they decided to form a permanent partnership. They moved to sunny California to take their art to a broader audience and a higher level of exposure. Although each of the artists were prolific and talented in their respective areas, Steve with his pop art influence and Bob, with his Native American Indian art, they agreed that they would sell together and thus combine forces.
Steve Kaufman and Bob Womack’s art today stands in museums all over the world including countries such as Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, England, Amsterdam and places like the Vatican, the White House, and the Smithsonian Institute along with national art galleries all over the United States including Hawaii.
Among Bob’s many accomplishments and one of his favorite drama roles include being the star in a Vampire movie called “Bloodshed and Emeralds” directed by the late Ann Cochran produced in 1997. He also played 5 characters in a movie produced by Steve Kauffman and BullDog Productions in the movie called “Kill’ Em”. They formed their own successful studio production company, Bulldog Productions in 1997.
Bob enjoyed working with Jay Leno with the “Love Ride” motorcycle charity ride where he met Peter Fonda, Lorenzo Lamas, Dwight Yokum, and David Croft.
Bob and Steve’s 300,000 square foot art studio is located in Hollywood, California. Bob himself took a warehouse and personally reconstructed and designed the studio. Employing as many as 20 employees at a time over an 18 -year period, Bob supervised and managed many of these gang kids himself. As the facilitator for most of Steve’s projects, Bob enjoyed being in the background supporting the work.
Bob’s prolific work as an artist and his new ventures as a solo artist has helped reinvent him as a leader. He is determined to be the next number one pop artist in the world.