RUSS RUBIN (b. 1983) is a self-taught artist from the exotic woods of New Jersey. ’Temporary Cure for Existential Dread,’ his series of abstract landscapes on wood in vintage porthole frames, has been shown in New York, London, Miami, Houston and Hong Kong, and appeared in The New York Times, Artforum, Whalebone and New York Magazine. His Ted talk 'Dancing with the Bear,' a short documentary titled 'Temporary Dread,' and a new series of short films involving the artist and his menagerie of hand painted garage sale animals are forthcoming.

artist statement:

All this exotic woods stuff, it started as a joke. Jersey is… Jersey. But look anywhere long enough, and with the right eyes, or through the right glasses, maybe you’ll start to see it for what you need it to be. Or otherwise how to make it so. For me, this has evolved into a sort of mission statement of late. To be and make to the full extent of my inner absurdity. To go out on a limb and encourage others to do the same. 

Am I losing it or finding it? Yes indeed. All I can say for sure is i’ll be painting somewhere out here on the line between, dreaming up my own special brand of madness as I go. From abstract landscapes on wood in vintage frames to these new assemblage glasses, to my growing menagerie of sculptures and now even through portraiture, I aim to provide a means of escape into the beauty, the fantasy and possibility of creation, of other worlds, where we’re all free to be our wild and whacked out inner selves til real life is as exotic as we need it to be.



Dancing with the bear...

...is about overcoming the shame of being an artist with absurdity and aplomb. in a strange way it’s a window onto the creative process itself, the spontaneous trying and failing and trying again that constitutes my artistic practice, live, in my first stage performance since acne.

now get lost, do your damn thing, and may god bless america

photos by @gvldaily