Within this new series of paintings, Rubio utilizes the power and detachment of abstraction to re-examine figural forms as fractured states within different environments, ultimately raising questions about humanity’s present state and future.
As representations of human form through beige tones, including the raw color of canvas, these fleshy hues are buried within the composition beneath dynamic layers of line and patterned grids. Through this abstracted landscape, Nano creates a mix of digital and political statements. Digital represented by the line work and political represented by the flesh tones and representation of the human within fractures settings, a reflection of the twenty-first century advances like computer to brain interfaces and genetic alteration are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human.
Breaking away from the neon palette of his his previous canvases, the variations of color and line appear as two different series in opposition with one another as a nod to the exhibition title, Tribe. These contrasting approaches are meant to mirror a Global Village where conflict becomes more visible through the depiction of painting styles at odds. Yellows and oranges are juxtaposed against deep blues and black drips in the Crudo series, while light blues run as thin horizontal lines across darkened black and grey backgrounds in smeared patterns in the Data Refiner series.
It is this ongoing contest over the instability and the continuing viability of figuration that I seek to address within the greater field of art production and politics today. Thus, in my most recent body of work the color choices and compositions no longer provide the feeling of a mere cautionary tale, but rather, they alert us to rising creativity of the figure in early twenty-first century.
Nano Rubio received his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in 2011. He was the recipient of a GSU Graduate Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Nominee. In 2012 he received a Moore Family Foundation Grant for his innovative practice and distinctive visual style. His art has since been shown in prominent galleries from Los Angeles to New York in solo and group shows, as well as appearing well-known art publications like Fabrik magazine.