The delicate borders between the dream and the “real”, a fascination with the visual luxuries of Ancient mythology, and the exploration of the inherent beauty within the physical and metaphysical sciences are all at work for Miami-based artist Santiago Rubino. His painstaking draftsmanship and razor-edged precision in executing geometric perspective and line contribute to the timeless quality of his figurative scenarios.

A pure, intuitive drive coupled with a seductively dangerous, urban streak is the core factor of Rubino’s work, rooted in principles oscillating between Renaissance cartooning, Classical landscapes, postmodern graffiti, and Futurist character animation.

For his latest solo exhibition with Spinello Projects, Rubino continues a series of hyper-figurative drawings that have been constantly evolving in his studio over a three-year period. This selection of work addresses both literal and implied elements of Aldous Huxley’s groundbreaking, experimental book The Doors of Perception (1954). Recounting an afternoon trip on mescaline, Huxley detailed visions of which, he proposed, would have been impossible to manifest under ‘nominal’ conditions. Not so ironically, Huxley titled his work after a quote from William Blake’s poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”:

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.

Opening Reception: September 6, 2014 | 7-10PM
Exhibition will run through October 4th, 2014.

Rubino’s fine drawings reflect the variances of human consciousness and vision, often with surreal or half-realized dreams and elements posited in space. Intense black and white gradients in his characters’ costuming are offset by the gentle tones of the surrounding landscapes. Any definitive narrative is elusive to Rubino, but there are leanings of situations ranging from science fiction (such as The Birth of Athena) to Victorian Steampunk, from fearsome religious reckonings (Triptych) to sheer lucid dreaming. In all, Rubino’s painstaking, ambitious technique is laid bare as a rare, tangible experience for an audience tuned daily to digitized, intangible aesthetics.