Picture Planes: An Interview with Charlie Rubin

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When you look at Charlie Rubin’s new book, Strange Paradise, you realize that the title is really perfect. While the images are striking and lush, full of interesting and beautiful visual flora and fauna, they have a sense of weirdness and unease. It’s the kind of imagery that requires time and pondering to notice all the nuances and cleverness going on behind the scenes. Charlie creates photographs and then takes them back to his studio, altering them in sometimes conspicuous, sometime subtle ways, giving the images an exciting and confounding physicality and confusing our assumptions about what a photograph is. The launching of Strange Paradise, which is out now on Conveyor Editions, will be celebrated tomorrow (4/10) at Printed Matter (complete with a custom window display by Charlie), and everyone should come.
 
Christian: Do you see yourself as a pure photographer in the classic sense, or something else? Your work, while very rooted in photography as a base, has obvious elements and layers of sculpture and painting.
 
Charlie Rubin: I guess I always start with a classic photograph and then build off of it if it feels right, so it’s a mixture of pure and something else. Recently though, I’ve been leaning toward the something else. Even though my work uses painting, collage and sculpture, I still see the final image as a photograph. I also include straight, unaltered, photographs in series and have side documentary or portrait projects. The medium is transforming fast, and it’s made me transform as an artist- a reaction to the utilitarian nature of it and how anyone can take a beautiful photograph these days. It happened naturally for me; I got bored with a lot of my own imagery because I didn’t find anything unique about it anymore, so I needed to find out how to bring meaning back in to my images.

My little sister showed me this app on her phone the other day where you can add light leaks and dust particles to your iPhone photos and I’m like, “Whoa, someone is turning in their grave.” My work is a reaction to these things, to the yearning for physicality, for something real and non-screen.
  
Tell me about how you came upon your process of moving the digital back into a physical realm. Did you have an “A Ha!” moment when you discovered a way to make something new with your photographs?
 
Like I said, it was a response to the feeling that my pictures were losing meaning. I could take the most awesome picture of a sunset with five rainbows and plants and beautiful people in front of it, but it just didn’t matter because I could open up my laptop and find five images just like it. I had to work with the medium and figure out how to convey my frustration and conceptualize this change in the visual cultural landscape surrounding me. It’s also a fantasy or escape from the monotony of imagery I was seeing and making.
 
At first I experimented with ink on my photos, influenced by graffiti and other mark-making techniques, and highlighting what I found important in the photo. I made a breakthrough some years later when I used inkjet ink on an inkjet print and everything came together.

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When You Read An Interview And You Imagine That The Guy Asking The Questions Sounds Like Johnny Utah

longo-keanu

Keanu Reeves talks to Robert Longo. “Fuck yeah.”

The Man Behind The Mountain

Before American Folk Artist Leonard Knight passed away earlier this year, filmmakers Ben Stoddard and Dave Ehrenreich spent some quality time with the creator of Salvation Mountain.

BEPAD

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Opening tonight and maintaining hours through the weekend, BEPAD is a suite event at The Lowell Hotel featuring rare books, photographs, artist interventions, and cultural artifacts from the likes of Fulton Ryder, Harper’s Books and Karma.

Hours:

Wednesday, April 9: 5:00 – 10:00pm
Thursday, April 10: 12:00 – 8:00pm
Friday, April 11: 12:00 – 8:00pm
Saturday, April 12: 12:00 – 8:00pm

Location:

The Lowell Hotel
28 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065

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Thierry Noir: Painting Walls

French street artist Thierry Noir was one of the first artists to paint the Berlin Wall, way back in 1984. In this video, he reflects on how street art changed his life.

 

Flash Us: Slawomir Nitschke

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For our series, “Flash Us,” we ask some of our favorite tattoo artists to create a design based on a classic theme—naked ladies. This week, Slawomir Nitschke sent us the above. Slawomir tattoos out Czaszka i Sztylet in Poland, and you can follow him here.

Zio / @zioxla

No Junk Mail

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A fun edition for the home by David Shrigley

Eddie Martinez: Studio Drawings

A small monograph that was published in 2013 which focuses on Eddie’s drawings and includes an essay by Glenn O’Brien.

Available here

Morning Dose of the A-Z of Dance

So many moves.

Directed by Jacob Sutton

Drawings by Geoff McFetridge

From his MEDITALLUCINATION show at V1 in Copenhagen.

#NotABugSplat

not-a-bug-splat

JR’s ‘Inside Out’ art project empowered a group of artists in Pakistan to place a gigantic portrait of a child on the ground facing the sky in villages across one of the more heavily bombed regions of the country. The goal of the art was to targets predator drone operators, and make them aware that with every strike, a child could be killed.

Anti-Graffiti Propaganda Case Study No.1

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A new print from Roger Gastman’s Tools of Criminal Mischief series.

Available here

Openings & Parties: Nate Lowman – Rave The Painforest

On view at Maccarone through June 2014

Photos by Christos Katsiaouni

Nu Liife

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Our weekly comic by Andrew Jeffrey Wright / @ajw4ever

Art Tonight (And This Weekend) in New York

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Spring is here.

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Bye Bye Banksy

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Some idiot scrubbed out two Banksy pieces in LA, filmed himself doing it, and is now being charged with Felony vandalism. Even more shameful, the 35-year-old was picked up by police at his mom’s house in Modesto, CA.

Bay Area Graffiti: The Early Years

NEON presents a history lesson with great archival flicks.

via, Juxtapoz

Installation View: MTV RE:DEFINE benefit auction

Occurring tomorrow (4/4) at the Dallas Contemporary, and featuring a whole bunch of top names in the art world.

All the info you need right here

Kate Moss Thursdays

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With broccoli.

Photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans

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