Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Studio Visit with Carrie Rubinstein by Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (June 9th, 2012) From life, to drawing, to life again

 My recent studio visit with Carrie Rubinstein was nothing short of pleasant. Her live /work space was very tranquil. A contrast to the sounds and sights of her Prospect Park neighborhood which  bursts with such liveliness and activity which seemed to be no distraction for her as she works intimately with each of her series of drawings of architectural rooftops of dwellings amongst plants and city lights.

As I walked in Carrie’s colorfully detailed line drawings drew me into looking closer and examining her surroundings. I wished I was in each of these somewhat imaginary spaces. As Carrie told me her techniques of working I was even more intrigued at her ability to capture such detail and attention to her subject matter from just pure observation from quite a distance away. One would think she climbed her rooftop and used binoculars  to draw such angles of an adjacent  rooftop. I was quite surprised that by working and drawing from her windowsill she was able to capture such detail and intricate spaces much higher than her eye level. Imagination must have come into play which she explained took her about three weeks to complete each ink and gouache drawing.

Having known Carrie since graduate school at Hunter College back in 2004 her work has changed quite a bit since she studied sculpture and used more random materials from wood to cast rubber. Her thesis work which contained life sized gouache drawings of a living room was cut up and arranged into an installation, which she described as 2.5 D (a halfway point between 2D and 3D) remained with me and I related them to her current work by the line quality and her drawing from life. I challenged her to work this way again, not to abandon her older gouache techniques or recent way of working small scale and intimate but to incorporate her previous 2.5 D methods. I understood her space limitations to create a whole large scale installation of these so I told her to imagine life sized fragments of her recent drawings which contained brick walls, rooftops, plants, trees and to consider the viewers' own entrance into these environments.  A nice surprise would be to see where these borderline imaginary/ realistic spaces emerge. From life, to drawing, to life again- a small drawing is magnified. I can’t wait to walk into the colorful world of Carrie Rubinstein.