David Rubello loves to experiment but makes his experiments in
private, using mostly impermanent media: like body art and land art (I am thinking particularly of his paintings using snow in place of a white canvas, or his use of bright metallic geometrical forms in association with sand and the informal waves of the sea). I am tempted to consider these objects impermanent (in the sense they are temporal but not motionless artifacts) even though documented by video and photography. But he paints, so the desire of a metaphor of the instability of present day life, the unique possible certainty that always there will be changes should be translated from atmospheric reflections, and the fortuitousness of a photographic shot, to a rigid combine of forms, inside the pre established artistic field of a canvas,
through the use of unchangeable chemical colors. His ideas are clear enough: he would like to move from a movement
suggested through fragmentation and bi-dimensional contrast of forms and shapes, into a movement requiring a more direct
participation of the viewer, implying a comparison between past and present.
Rubello’s canvases exhibited together with his photographs reveal, like diagrams, different zones or groups of spaces, sometimes overlapping may be considered the first steps toward something really new. . . the contrast between two different systems of perspective. I feel that Rubello dreams something more than this: a double theatre, with a double crowd of visual events, in front and behind, with an active fore stage, full of its own histories or things. And I want to be invited soon to his magic performance.
Dr. Eugenio Battisti
Evan Pugh Professor of Art History
The Pennsylvania State University
From the very first photographs I took: self-portraits looking into a worn out mirror when I was fifteen years old, my intent was to be making art. Part of that intent always related to my painting. At that particular time I was immensely taken by the artists of the Renaissance.
No matter what the photographic subject, I worked aware of composition, while seeking a personal expression. It was my teacher, Guy Palazzola, who introduced me to making photograms. This was in 1955 when I was attending the
school of Arts and Crafts in Detroit.
For a long time I enjoyed discovering what was possible using a camera…taking photographs pointing the camera directly into the glare of the sun, wanting to burn a hole through the film…light passing through a magazine page so that both
sides exposed at the same time created a double exposure. Taking a photograph through a plate glass held in front of my camera I was able to capture the image in front and the image reflected behind me. These images have a similar appearance to a double exposure but they literally mean what was behind me
and what was there in front of me, a metaphor for what was past and what lies ahead. My efforts included a geometric still life series documenting a black painting made on the snow…pages taken from a Time-Life book of photos by famous photographers folded into geometric shapes, scanned and printed as a
limited edition print. These diverse experiments are stated here to explain my development and remain important to me.
New Life Forms Photograms
New Life Forms series began in 1990. Because of my experimental attitude I discovered a new relationship between my painting and photography. Using a 4”x5” overhead camera I made photographs of assemblages on a light table. About the same time I made a device, which I named Flex Form. This was made of five flat aluminum geometric shapes attached with rivets. At first I used this flexible Penta form to make drawings, however one day I decided to make some darkroom experiments. The resulting photograms revealed a similarity to my paintings which surprised me then and continues to do so.