Robert Zurer was born in New York City and grew up in Greenwich Village in the 50's and 60's. He was graduated from Reed College in biochemistry. Upon his return from college, he settled in Brooklyn where he has lived ever since with his wife of 45 years. They have two grown children. In 1974, he started a scrap metal/dismantling business. In 2000 he closed his business and began designing and developing software at which he still works every day for a living.
He is self-taught and has been drawing and painting since he was a child. His work is narrative and is about inner life, mostly about struggle. The visual artists by whom he is most influenced are Gorky, Bacon, Neel, Lassnig, Balthus, Ensor, De Kooning, Hopper, Turner, Bosch, Grosz, Dix, Feininger, Millet, Church, Kahlo, Benton, Dove, Kandinsky, Burchfield, Carrington, Howson, Guston among many others.