Jessica Rubin is a Puerto Rican Jewish American artist originally from Los Angeles, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in Los Angeles in close proximity to the entertainment industry, she spent much of her youth in performing arts schools learning dance, acting, and musical theatre, and never considered visual arts until she was randomly placed in a mixed media art class her first semester of college. Being the oldest sibling of a single parent low income family, the places she lived in growing up were inconsistent and often messy, creatively pieced together, shared spaces. Since living in New York, interior space and surroundings have been a very important part of her life and feeling at home. This value is woven into her work, which often depicts feminine figures in domestic comfort spaces peacefully coexisting and blending with their surroundings. She uses vibrant exaggerated colors to depict her subjects in private spaces with her intimate dreamlike portraits. Using herself as a model, she gives the viewer an intimate look into her personal spaces both real and imagined. Rubin has exhibited her work in NYC at galleries such as La MaMa Galleria, Deep Space Gallery, Chinatown Soup, and more.

Artist Statement

My work explores the relationships I have with myself and my surroundings. I examine the way that the spaces we live in can represent and interact with us as much as we do with them. I use patterns and vibrant colors to communicate personality and give the viewer an intimate look into my personal spaces, real and imagined. People often use the items and patterns that they wear and surround themselves with as a form of self-expression, so the collection of things becomes uniquely specific to the individual. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about comfort and safe spaces in my work, and how I have learned to find comfort in isolation. For much of the last two years, many of us have spent more time than ever in our own bedrooms and domestic spaces. This forced proximity places another level of importance on our personal spaces and they become a necessary extension of ourselves. We require a level of care for our spaces so they can care for us. Within these spaces, I use the body as a landscape with organic shapes and curves and unnatural, vibrant colors. I paint the figures from unusual perspectives, sometimes including the perspective of the subject so the viewers can step into the work as if they are looking down at their own body. This unusual way of viewing the body of another person evokes a sense of distortion of the body that expresses the disconnect that I often feel in my own body with the way feminine bodies are viewed and debated about by others. I center the feminine perspective, how we exist in spaces and feel most natural, and how we view our own worlds, not trying to look a certain way but just existing.