• Faiq Imran

Anya Rubin – The Totality of Human Experience

From the microcosm of atoms and molecules to the macrocosm of galaxies, an underlying current binds the various tonalities of our universe. When it comes to giving form to the formless, what occupies reality at its core is a hegemony of patterns —coiling like an ouroboros, repeating itself on every scale and size.


Adrien 40x40 oil on canvas 2016 © Anya Rubin


This connectivity necessitated human expression, it forced the man to travel towards the horizon, and if possible, conquer it. It powered the digital revolution and subsequently, the social media revolution. This collage of ideas, shapes, and textures, unbounded by time and scale enables the dynamism of our daily lives. By binding us to each other, it justifies social communication. Artist Anya Rubin is particularly interested in the distortion of perspective that binds us to ourselves, to our digital avatars, our manic, obsessive shopping sprees, and our anxious clenched fists so that we are distracted from the basic premise of life.


Having lived in Russia, Israel, Germany, and the U.S by the time she was 9, she had a broad spectrum to borrow from for her artistic pursuits. However, she did not put brush to canvass until much later in life — not with real intent anyway. Having taken a few art classes in her youth, she had a basic understanding of the medium, not to mention a generous appetite and undeniable skill. But, it did not stick at the time. Later, after having given birth to triplets, she turned to her old muse to keep her company. The recreational pastime eventually charmed her into her current professional career. Having taken a few private lessons, she rightfully considers herself an autodidact.


Hawk Oil 36x36 2015 © Anya Rubin


The fusion of physical, digital, and biological realms has delivered a significant blow to humanity’s emotional, intellectual, and spiritual cultivation. With the influx of technological layers, our obsessions and paranoia dilute what lies beneath — a passion for living, a thirst for innovation, a need for expression, a desire for beauty. Emphasizing the loss of individual identity, Anya presents us with a vision of distorted reality in which the overwhelming hodgepodge of social, economic, and political race transfixes us to the ‘now’ and restricts us to ourselves. While a cynical mind may venture that we are forever fated to be disoriented, adrift, and lost, Anya creates a reality where the interdependence of man with his contemporary devices ensures societal and material flux. The series of movements that emanate from said phenomenon is very much representative of the interdependence of the physical world at large (both on microscopic and macroscopic levels).


Nat 36 © Anya Rubin


It’s an idea she likes to toy with, repeatedly. Currently, this particular preoccupation of hers is on full display at the Artios Gallery. In the exhibition, she distills the portrait figures down to separate, autonomous shapes and textures. These patches do not call attention to themselves by their remote identities but by the viewer’s collective perception of their remote natures. The result is several distinct elements that constitute a blurry image, even though the elements themselves are distinct. It almost feels like a melting pot of inner and outer worlds; the material and the emotional. While some details of memory may remain intact, the collective sequence is blurred. The synergy of those details serves as an imitation of the real moment. But, the experience of perceiving it in memory is entirely divorced from the immediate interaction one had had earlier.


Jumping between the perception of remote entities and the dynamic, collective whole they end up constituting, Anya Rubin’s work allows us to pause and reflect on the ever-changing nature of identities, whether they pertain to mere mortals or Mother Nature herself.


You can take a look at Anya’s work and read about her vision on her website http://www.anyarubin.com/. For a peek at her latest exhibition at the Artios Gallery, visit https://www.artiosgallery.com/anya-rubin.

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