On May 11th, 2019 Bruce Rubenstein is set to be featured in a solo show
entitled “Alive in the Superunknown” at Castelli Art Space (5428 W. Washington Blvd. L.A, 90016) The exhibition will remain on view through May 13th, 2019. The artist will be in attendance on May 11 from 6-10pm. Enjoy the interview with the artist.
Q: You obviously like Soundgarden…Can you explain the title?
A: The Super unknown goes beyond what the human mind is capable of comprehending. The Universe is simply too vast. It is all encompassing; it is Infinite. There is no beginning, there is no middle, there is no end. It’s like the invisible boundary inside a black hole known as the “event horizon” that essentially marks the point of no return. Picasso said, “I do not paint what I see, I paint what I know.” This series of paintings is merely a manifestation of MY knowingness.
Q: How many are in the show?
A: There will be approximately 18 – 20 pieces.
Q: Tell me about the paintings that will be included in your exhibit “Alive in the Superunknown” A: This latest series of paintings entitled “Alive in the Superknown” was inspired by my everlasting search for truth through spiritual enlightenment. Which is a very personal experience. I’ve always subscribed to the “existentialist” notion that personal experience and acting on one’s own convictions are essential in arriving at the truth. Jackson Pollock said, “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” And that’s exactly what this latest body of work is: MY truth.
Q: Are they all in the same series? If not are they in several?
A: There is a certain flow to all of the pieces but they are not specifically connected to one another. Each painting is very unique unto itself. My shows are always eclectic in nature. I get very bored painting the same thing over and over…especially because I’m so prolific.
Q: How often do you paint?
A: I paint every day. Sometimes ten hours a day, seven days a week.
Q: Wow that is a lot of time…is it all painting?
A: I build all my canvases from scratch, meaning I build the stretcher bars myself and stretch the canvases as well. And 90% of my works these days are quite large. Averaging 6 x 9 feet or thereabouts. The years of canvas stretching and building has taken a real toll on my hands.
Q: Do you take breaks after creating works?
A: As soon as I finish one painting I immediately begin another. I have issues living in present time. I’ve been like this my whole life. Always drifting & daydreaming. Someone will be talking to me and all I’m thinking about is what might this person look like as a Francis Bacon portrait or even worse as a Picasso cubist weeping woman.
Q: What or who inspires you?
A: I read an article about Ed Moses. He was quoted “I’m not afraid of anything, I’m terrified of everything. Fear is my constant companion.” It might be one of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard. I can’t get it out of my head. He’s my hero!!!!
Q: Do you find inspiration when you visit museums?
A: Yes…the last two big shows I attended were Jasper Johns at The Broad and Rauschenberg at LACMA. Both of those were amazing and very inspirational.
Q: Was there someone in your life that inspired you to create?
A: I had an art teacher in High School named Don Dunn who was very encouraging. I think he saw a real artist buried deep inside of me. But I was lacking the self-awareness and self-confidence until my mid-twenties.
Q: How old were you when you started to paint?
A: I began painting at a very early age, probably at around 5 or 6. I used to paint everything I could get my hands on. I once painted the garage door black. My father drove his brand new Chrysler New Yorker right through it thinking it was open. That was not a good day!
Q: Have you worked with any other media?
A: About 10 years ago I was doing mostly assemblage pieces. I was very influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg.