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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Candid Self-Portraits Rubin brings special exhibit to DVAA

By Joseph Abraham - sports & life editor

Allan Rubin's “Canon” is on exhibit at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance through May 5.
Recycled metal food cans. They might not mean much to some, but to local artist Allan Rubin such items are the basis of his inspiration. Rubin has taken what might have otherwise been wasted and transformed them into amazing works of art.
He began practicing as an artist in 1970 after graduating with a BFA from The Cooper Union in NYC.
“Sometimes I was fortunate to sell my work to make a living, but mostly I worked three days a week in NYC as assistant to various well-known artists,” he explained. “I quit my day job in 2004 to work full-time in Sullivan County and to exhibit often in regional galleries.
This locality is blessed with so many artists and art appreciators that provide a huge sense of community.”
His latest exhibition of masterpieces, “Canon,” which is on exhibit at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance through May 5, began 21 months ago.
During DVAA's annual “Art In Sixes” show, Rubin experimented with using recycled metal food cans as a medium upon which to paint smaller portraits of local residents and friends. He's since made the transition from painting to painted sculpture.
“The sculptures are 3D remakes of flat painted self-portraits by the masters of painting (the Art Canon) that I revere and am inspired by,” Rubin said. “My unique approach is to build them out of recycled metal food cans, donated by supportive friends and local restaurants. Turning paintings into sculptures from an odd material and then painting them to appear much as the original is aesthetically and technically exciting.”
The exhibition highlights several timely and modern concepts - recycling, recycled cans, women artists, art history, art historical paintings, and artist self-portrait. Each work in the exhibit is a 3-D sculpture of the 2-D self-portrait of each of the artists in the show.
“It is something that has never been seen before and is truly original in its form and execution,” DVAA Gallery Director Rocky Pinciotti said. “Allan Rubin is an amazing painter who, besides years of creating works on canvas, has also done 'sculptural' paintings with branches and other structures. Here, in his exhibit at the DVAA, he has taken his love of 3-D work to a new level transforming mostly cans and pieces of metal into an exacting representation of famous artists self-portraits. As gallery director and educator, I am constantly drawn to visit the different artists sprinkled throughout the gallery. Visitors to the gallery enjoy the exhibit which has works that many people can relate to because they are from real recognizable works of art.”
Rubin set out to portray as many women artists as he could Google, “...because they have been unfairly ignored by art history. I also seek out artists from foreign cultures less known by most in our culture. This exhibit is educational, for me and anyone who knows that art and artists make life richer and more interesting.”
“Even though the art history books seem to have egregiously overlooked women in the arts, Rubin has worked hard to included 20 women artists (and 28 men), all of which have, or should have, a major place in art history,” Pinciotti added.
Rubin currently resides in Cochecton with his life-partner and fellow artist Candy Spilner.
For more information about “Canon,” visit

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