Artist’s Statement on work in MELISSA RUBIN Represented Artist Spotlight
My New York studio is in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and my work reflects this urban ocean environment.
Using a mixed-media approach, including oil paints, encaustic (wax), powdered pigment and a variety of other materials, I choose media that helps to facilitate a sense of mystery and light, both internal and external. Living and working a mere 400 ft. from the Atlantic Ocean, I experienced, first-hand, the destruction of Hurricane Sandy (I know Vermonters are no stranger to the destructive power of wind and water as Hurricane Irene left a path of ruin throughout the state in 2011). This work is a direct result of that experience, being in Sandy’s path for hours on that night.
After the water receded, and I was able to see the extent of the devastation, my art took on a new sense of urgency; it needed to be made in order to process the trauma I experienced. The larger works in this spotlight reflects a rising up, and re-growth, after so much destruction. The four smaller pieces, from my ‘Fragments’ series, directly references the shards of tiles and pottery cast up from the sea, and remnants of people’s homes that were strewn across the beach after the hurricane. The ocean now has new meaning to me; it is a vital and powerful life force that can provide and take away at the same time. The transient nature of water, the tides, and all it’s rhythms, has earned my deepest respect and awe.
Statement about works in VERMONT SUMMER GROUP SHOW
These works explore my relationship with the urban ocean environment where my studio is, in Rockaway Beach, NYC. They speak to my first-hand experience with Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Living a mere 300 feet from the ocean, I had direct contact with the storms impact; the high winds, the flooding of my home, the destruction of so much around me. The pieces are my attempt to express the power, strength, mystery and beauty of nature.
Melissa Rubin, a New York City and Vermont-based artist, was a recent participant with the Master Abstraction Residency at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA. Her work has earned her a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grant, as well as a Fulbright Teacher Fellowship to Japan. Rubin’s work has been featured in ARTnews Magazine, Encaustic Arts Magazine, on CBS This Morning, and has been used in performances and movie sets. Her art has been exhibited in solo and numerous group exhibitions. The most recent venues to show her work is ODETTA Digital on SHIM Art Network; the John Molloy Gallery NYC; Atlantic Gallery NYC; Canal Street Gallery, Bellows Falls, VT; Main Street Arts, Saxtons River, VT; Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY; Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Art on Paper Fair at Pier 36 NYC; San Luis Obispo Museum of Art CA; the Museum of the City of New York; The Burgdorff Gallery of Southern Vermont College Bennington, VT. Her art is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe, NM and many of her works are in private collections in the United States and Europe.