About the Artist
Jessica Rubin is a Puerto Rican Jewish American artist originally from Los Angeles, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in Los Angeles in close proximity to the entertainment industry, she spent much of her youth in performing arts schools learning dance acting and musical theatre, and never considered visual arts until she was randomly placed in a mixed media art class her first semester of college. Being the oldest sibling of a single parent low income family, the places she lived in growing up were inconsistent and often messy, creatively pieced together, shared spaces. Since living in New York, interior space and surroundings have been a very important part of her life and feeling at home. This value is woven into her work, which often depicts feminine figures in domestic comfort spaces peacefully coexisting and blending with their surroundings. She uses vibrant exaggerated colors to depict her subjects in private spaces with her intimate dreamlike portraits. Using herself as a model, she gives the viewer an intimate look into her personal spaces both real and imagined. Rubin has exhibited her work in NYC at galleries such as La MaMa Galleria, Deep Space Gallery, Chinatown Soup, and more.
In my work I examine the way that the spaces we live in can represent and interact with us as much as we do with them. The places where we spend most of our time have a huge impact on our experience of the world. In my life I have not always had control over creating the physical spaces that I occupied. I use the idea of comfort and safe spaces in my work, how I have learned to find comfort in isolation. For much of the last two years many of us have spent more time than ever in our own bedrooms and domestic spaces. This forced proximity places another level of importance on our personal spaces and they become a necessary extension of ourselves. We require a level of care for our spaces so they can care for us. Within these spaces, I use the body as a landscape with organic shapes and curves and unnatural vibrant colors. I paint the figures from unusual perspectives, sometimes including the perspective of the subject so the viewers can step into the work as if they are looking down at their own body. I use myself as a model, I start with taking photos in groups setting up a space I want to occupy and share. I make digital drawings for composition and use the drawings as reference for the larger piece. I choose colors intuitively using vibrant exaggerated colors to emphasize the emotional context of the work and highlight certain areas of the composition. This unusual way of viewing the body of another person evokes a sense of distortion of the body that expresses the disconnect that I often feel in my own body with the way feminine bodies are viewed and debated about by others. I center the feminine perspective, how we exist in spaces and feel most natural, how we view our own worlds, not trying to look a certain way just existing.
What is your “Dreamland” ?
My Dreamland is a space that is all my own. In my work I use the ideas of comfort and safe spaces to show my own world that I have created for myself. I invite the viewer to sit with me in my space like a friend and feel comforted by the things I share with them. My paintings show an exaggerated version of my own reality, my personal dreamland.
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