“Canon,” an exhibition of Allan Rubin’s sculptures inspired by self portraits of famous artists will include almost 50 small-scale painted sculptures fashioned from recycled metal food cans.
“I began this series of reinterpreted masters’ self portraits as three-dimensional sculptures made of metal cans,” Rubin says. “I recreate each artist’s image and emulate his/her style on shapes the cans dictate.”
A few years ago Rubin reinvented himself at an age that many people might think of retiring. “My studio was full to overflowing with outrageously large and unwieldy pieces that I felt were no longer taking me forward,” Rubin recalls. “Thanks to DVAA’s annual Art In Sixes show, I experimented with using recycled metal food cans as a medium upon which to paint smaller portraits. This led to a desire to represent and celebrate the canon of painting masters that has inspired and influenced me from the beginning as a painter,” he says.
Supportive friends supplied Rubin with their used cans. Even local restaurants chipped in their bags of recyclable large juice and sauce cans. Coffee cans became heads, tomato and olive oil cans the torsos. Bean cans made great arms. Sardine cans were best for hands.
About the Artist
Rubin notes that when he was a student in the late 1960s, his art history textbook did not include a single female painter. “I intend to try to remedy that oversight by including as many worthy women artists as I can Google,” he says.
This is the fifth solo show at DVAA for Rubin, who received a BFA in Painting at The Cooper Union in 1970. Over his nearly 50 year career he has gone from painting surreal landscapes to large shaped aerial interpretations of New York City and the Delaware River Valley (DVAA, 1992), to aerial topographical painted constructions (DVAA, 1994), through expressionistic landscapes (DVAA, 1998), large branch and canvas abstract portrait sculptures (DVAA, 2007), and now to smaller figural painted sculptures in oil on metal cans.
Born, raised and schooled in New York City, Rubin relocated with his life partner Candy Spilner to Cochecton, NY in 1989. They have thrived in our creative community of friends and neighbors, and frequently exhibit at galleries across Sullivan County.
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.