“Impressionable” | May 18th – June 14th, 2020
Robert Berry Gallery is pleased to announce its inaugural virtual show Impressionable, featuring new works by Chicago-based artist John Ruby, opening on Monday, May 18th.
We are proud to offer John Ruby’s inspirational new works blending photography, illustration, and technology influences with legendary rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Amy Winehouse. Impressionable will give viewers and participants the opportunity to experience a new perspective on these familiar yet otherworldly faces, and a shift in perspective on time. As a result of today’s global health and economic crisis, people are turning to art to understand their past, present, and future, and their place in the world now that so much of their old life has changed. John Ruby’s show highlights the clarity in distance and the murkiness in closeness, cutting through the cacophony of digital noise we are all experiencing in quarantine, and presenting a fresh new voice.
Ruby, a native of Illinois, attended the American Academy of Art, specializing in photography and illustration. At the age of 23, he combined his talents to become a digital photo re-toucher, and began exploring the giclée process. He has taken his life experiences and influences – the good and the bad – and turned them into expressive and colorful works of digital and analog art. Today, by combining his conventional art along with digital art and photography, the result is highly expressive, emotional, and hugely compelling works.
“Impressionable is about life, new perspectives, and hindsight,” said John Ruby, the artist. “When you get closer, these works become more abstract. When you step away, they become clearer. Like people from the past, the more you get to know them, and the closer you get, the more abstract they become. As much as you want to know more, you can only know so much. My paintings are a reflection of the distance between us and them, and the unknowable spaces between the past, present, and future.”
Impressionable will feature nine new works from Ruby, utilizing acrylic, photographic, and 3D-printing elements, sized from 24 x 30” to 40 x 30”. Each piece features a close-up portrait of an iconic musician, from Jim Morrison to David Bowie, so well-known in their own right, that they are just as famous to Ruby’s generation—growing up in the 1970s—as well as every generation thereafter. These dazzling portraits, printed on swirly, colorful, and textured palettes, are highly collectible, work well in sets as part of a larger collection, and are completely unique in the marketplace.
“Art has always kept me even-keeled; it’s a healer for me,” Ruby stated. “There’s not a piece I’ve worked on that I don’t remember the music I was listening to. For Impressionable, I was listening to the artists when I made this. I wanted to delve into the soul of these people. I wanted their music to influence the detail-oriented, multilayered process of making these works. My joy comes from the surprise of my own work, and to surprise others with its nuances, layers, and mysteries.”