"There are perhaps 35 great clowns left
in the world. Robert Shields may be the best one there is"
believe in two things: humor and magic. He is a one-man creativity
machine who has spent his life sharing his sense of energy, awe
and wonder with people all over the world.
He earned an Emmy, garnered the Las Vegas
Entertainer of the Year Award, appeared on not only his own television
show, but over 400 others, and has been awarded special honor by
the International Mime and Movement Association for bringing mime
to mainstream audiences. Also a premier artist of jewelry, masks,
arrows, paintings and spirit/tribal doll sculptures, his art, known
as "Southwest with a twist", is sold throughout the world,
including his five signature retail stores throughout Northern Arizona.
Shields is also the newly appointed Director
of Clowns for Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Greatest
Show on Earth.
Fading, flunking and bombing in the system
was the norm for Shields until he discovered he was an artist with
a unique perspective on the world. He had an unusual early childhood
and didnt speak until he was four. While in high school he
perfected unique body control and after graduation left for Canada
to join a traveling circus as "Robbie the Robot".
Discovered by Marcel Marceau at the age of
18, Shields was offered a full scholarship to Marceaus school
in Paris. His apprenticeship there was short-lived as he felt the
need to develop his own style and pry mime loose from its arty pedestal
and put it in the streets.
He chose San Francisco as his outdoor stage
and for seven years used his wit, sensitivity, imagination and agility
to fascinate and entertain. Touted as San Franciscos main
tourist attraction at the young age of 19, his talents led him to
his own television show as one half of the renowned mime duo Shields
& Yarnell. His original scripted television special
"Toys on the Town" earned him an Emmy.
Transitioning between creative mime and creative
artist was a natural progression for shields. His fascination with
design, color, texture and form leads to a sublime and captivating
one-of-a-kind handicraft. The results of Shields constant
pursuit of fresh and exciting concepts have rendered his work exceptional
and collectable. His paintings and sculptures have appeared in galleries
throughout the world and his exclusive jewelry designs can be seen
on Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg and Shirley Mac Laine.
Shields art and the many orbits
of his life can be seen in his book "Cats, Fish &
Fools". Mel Ziegler, creator of the retail stores Banana
Republic and the Republic of Tea, writes in the forward to the book,
" Here, a single sparkly being, we have an artist and a
designer and a sculptor and an actor and a dancer and a writer and
a retailer and an entrepreneur
Now a resident of Sedona, Arizona, Shields
continues to perform with partner Lorene Yarnell in concert, symphony
pops and television.