If you were to paint a picture of your romantic relationship, where would you start? Would it be a happy image or a sad one? Gino Rubert reimagines all kinds of scenarios of modern couples on his canvases. His men and women are sensitive, but strong on their own. Please allow me to introduce you to the man who figured it all out!
Can you tell us a little about how you started your artistic journey?
I was the kind of boy who spent a lot of time drawing… Drawing was my little secret; my own world where rules were flexible… Later as a teenager, music and playing the piano became an obsession for a while. At some stage I had to decide between the piano and the brushes. My first years as an art student, my focus was on representing reality as seen, but little by little my language became more focused on reality as imagined.
Your work explores contemporary romantic relationships. Did your personal life have an influence in practicing this theme?
Probably… Though I absolutely need periods and daily moments of solitude. I consider myself to be a social person who needs most of the things one can only find in long term sentimental relationships.
How would you describe “the new man and the new woman” of contemporary relationships? What are the dynamics you like to shed light on?
Well, my work is very much about intuition and forms, more than about concepts or ideas. Though I must admit that there is some kind of focus on the sentimental world and its dynamics, I wouldn’t say that I am actually trying to shed any particular light on any part of it. I do enjoy portraying women and man as equally sensual intuitive but also square and absurd characters.
How do you come up with the narratives? Do you often find yourself observing couples?
Not particularly. The narratives in my works appear through a fun process that begins when I start to display pictures of people on my canvas. The chemistry that take place between them and a bit of my scenario direction end up cooking a cake which form or taste I really do not decide or sketch with anticipation.
Who would you say is the “ideal couple” of modern times?
That one which does not depend on each other but stay together because of sheer desire, empathy and respect.
Gaugin, Kahlo, Dali… What is the role of art history in your creative process?
Creativity has more to do with instinct than with knowledge, this is why Art history and the accomplishments of people like Fra Angelico, Kahlo or Picasso, are to me permanent reminders of the need to only give our maximum best on each piece of work.
How does figurative language enhance the surreal quality of your works?
I can’t think of any abstract surrealist work… Surrealism transcends reality precisely through using it’s languages and codes: bending them, stretching them, turning them around!
The aesthetic of your work is in a space between painting, collage, and photography. Is there a medium you like exploring more than the other?
I absolutely enjoy and explore the mixture of techniques in the pursuit of a clean, intriguing, and poetic image. By this I mean that I am interested in images that look simple and easy, though built by complex and multiple different materials or textures.
How does the representation of utopia influence our understanding of reality?
To achieve okay results, one must aim to a certain idea of perfection, which of course doesn’t exist. I agree with Holderlin when he says: “A man becomes a God when he dreams.”
What is the power of irony for you?
Irony is the strongest and most delicate thing at the same time. Its equilibrium between humor and pain is a fragile one. I’d say irony is sensibility and intelligence working together, where as cynicism would be the poor result of mixing resentment and stupidity.
If you were to change one norm in our relationship dynamics, what would it be?
Lets try not to expect too much from our couple, let’s allow them not to need us!