Dreamlike in subject and timeless in form, artist Ruben Cukier’s images appeal to our collective unconscious.
I was born in the city of Buenos Aires but grew up in the suburbs of the city, more of a rural and family environment. When I was twenty I moved to Israel and married. We started a family and settled in a kibbutz, which is an agrarian community.
My fascination with art began when I was five years old and saw the works of Dali through the window of a bookstore in the city. His works captivated me because they corroborated that my imagination, the rare images that appeared in my mind, could be captured through art.
From that moment I began my search for artists who, like Dali, invoked those images—Magritte, Max Ernst, Escher and others. At the same time, I began to get interested in the techniques of the classical masters such as Caravaggio, Rafael, Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
In my adolescence I began to draw and paint trying to find my own language based on my ideas and my precise conception of the world at that moment. I must confess that I never studied art formally, but am self-taught, developing over time the techniques that I felt would help me give more expression to my ideas.
Most people consider my work surreal and there was a time when I also considered myself a surrealist, but over the years I realized that the images I capture on the canvas are not the result of my subconscious, but of ideas that I develop through long meditations.
My work talks about our society, the symbols of our collective unconscious, our emotions and our desire to persist through our works. That’s why many of my images, which I refer to as “bioconstructions,” are anthropomorphic constructions.
My creative process generally begins with a search for images that synthesize an idea, doing so through exaggeration or a contrast between two opposing concepts—for example, innocence and violence. Some of my other images represent feelings such as anger or melancholy; not necessarily my feelings, but the feelings of society in general.
Contrary to what people usually assume, my works do not represent my experiences or my hidden desires. If I have to typecast them, I say that they represent the spirit of a time as seen through “my glasses.”
In early 2000, I started experimenting with color. Before this, my works were monochromatic (black on white) and I used the ink and the technique of pointillism. I later abandoned this technique as I began to feel limited in my expressive possibilities.
Currently, I prefer to use oil for its infinite possibilities and malleability, using the technique alla prima or the superposition of thin layers of color. Also representative of my work is the recurrent use of blue and ochre.
My works have been exhibited around the world including Argentina, Israel, Australia, Germany, England, the United States and currently in Portugal.
Link to Carolyn’s original article here.back