two oil paintings oil paintings oil painting of Ketchikan Troll family bible - oil on canvas two oil on canvas paintings seven paintings Wearable Art Show - oil on canvas two oil on canvas paintings four oil on canvas paintings seven pieces of artwork wall of paintings four oil on canvas paintings scratchboard oil on canvas and pastel on brown paper six works of art conte crayon on buff-colored paper and oil on canvas art three paintings three works of art portrait of a young girl - oil on canvas three paintings
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The Art of David Rubin
at the Alaska State Museum
November 1, 2013 – January 4, 2014

"My paintings go through a gestation period. As the embryo passes through every stage of evolution (Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny), so does the painting start off in a primitive state evolving finally to look like it was painted by a human - and then... maybe... by a painter."

David Rubin
2013

Portrait of Jean & Louis Bartos

2007
Oil on Canvas

Louis is a sailmaker and Jean, a weaver. That is a Swedish loom behind her while Louis wears his sewing medals.

Like Father, Like Son

1990
Oil on Wood

Dan Bartos, Ketchikan born and raised, poses in his spiked hair and punk black leather jacket against a backdrop of the quaint little fishing village, Ketchikan. His father Louis also shaves his head. Dan, who is now teaching art in Idaho, is stricter with his children then Louis ever was with him. The frame was made to resemble a Renaissance altarpiece; a person would sit at a table facing the painting, eye to eye, and meditate on the face of a saint or the Virgin Mary. I had the parts and design in mind but it was my friend, Homer artist Robert Walsh, who put it together, and I painted it. It’s not really gold.

Photographs by Sara Boesser

The Troll Family Bible

1994
Oil on Canvas

Scene in Edmonds Bay

2005
Oil on Canvas

On my first trip to Alaska, on the M/V Columbia, the naturalist on board gave a talk and described how bears would swim from island to island. I wondered what would happen if a pod of killer whales came swimming by. It wasn’t until practically 20 years later that the owner of the Ketchikan Mining Company, Lynn Strauss, pointed to the blank wall over the only escalator in Ketchikan and asked me, “Isn’t there something that you’ve always wanted to paint?”

From the collection of Lynn Strauss

Ketchikan – Average Yearly Rainfall: 162.17"

1987
Oil on Canvas

Ketchikan – Average Yearly Rainfall: 162.17”

1987
Oil on Canvas

Soon after I‘d finished it, Hall Anderson put this on the cover of The Scene, the Ketchikan Daily News weekly Arts Section. At that time I thought I’d call it Fall Winds Blow Over Ketchikan.

Hall was the Ketchikan Daily News photographer. He almost always used the cover of the Arts Section as a venue for his own work and chose a painting instead. I’m always grateful.

It was bought by Tim and Stormy Royer. Stormy is the daughter of Babe & Boots Addams who were friends with Fred Machetanz and who owned the Trading Post in Ketchikan when I first got there in ’83.

In the collection of Tim and Stormy Royer

The Troll Family Bible

1994
Oil on Canvas

This painting began as a still life involving dead fish I did in a workshop conducted by the artist James Cobb. My friend and fellow Ketchikan artist, Ray Troll, saw the dead fish (!!!!!) and asked me if I could try to get him and his wife Michelle in there somehow – so I came up with this. The figures are Adam and Eve from the Ghent Altarpiece by van Eyck and the two little mischievous angels are from another painting.

The frame was conceived by me and then realized by Ketchikan artist and woodworker Beth Antonson. Then I painted the two mermaids in their niches. They’re actually boat bumpers.

From the collection of Ray & Michelle Troll

The Wearable Art Show

2005
Oil on Canvas

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet

2008
Oil on Canvas

This composition is the result of a malfunctioning camera that didn’t advance the film and just kept piling one image on top of another as my friend Carol Alley shot pictures of her daughter Stephanie dancing in different numbers during a performance by Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. Carol then showed the image to me, suggested that it looked like a painting and that I should paint it.

From the collection of The First City Players

Top Left:

Settler’s Cove

1990
Oil on Canvas
From the collection of Craig & Hilary Koch

Top Right:

The Lurthern Church Against a Purple Cloud

2000
Pastel on Blue Paper

Middle Left:

Behind Robertson Building

1998
Oil on Wood

Done after teaching one night.

Middle:

House of the Shore

2007
Oil on Canvas

Middle Right:

Jimmy’s Creek

2005
Oil on Canvas
From the collection of Jim Annicelli

Bottom Left:

Sunset Over Ketchikan

2000
Pastel on Brown Paper

Bottom Right:

Moon Over the Narrows

2006
Pastel on Blue Paper

The Wearable Art Show

2005
Oil on Canvas

This is from a photo shot by Dr. Ernie Meloche during Ketchikan’s renowned Wearable Art Show. It is of Stephanie Alley. That year’s theme: Fly By Night. The frame is a masterpiece of woodworking and imagination by Ketchikan-born artist and woodworker, Beth Antonson.

From the collection of Rob & Carol Alley

Anna of Ketchikan

2010
Oil on Canvas

Anna Shaffer, owner of Starboard Frames and Gifts in Ketchikan (and also the framer of most of the pictures in this exhibition), sat for her own portrait, choosing for her attire just what Anna of Austria wore for her portrait by Rubens.

From the collection of George and Anna Shaffer

George Shaffer

1996
Oil on Canvas

This portrait of George, Anna’s husband, was painted years before he met her. Anna’s portrait was painted to match this one. He is wearing the Caduceus for the Science of Dentistry. He is my dentist.

From the collection of George and Anna Shaffer

After the Shower

2004
Oil on Canvas

The Death of Marilyn

1999
Oil on Canvas

The death scene is the setting for so many works of art: The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West, The Crucifixion by any number of painters. But none of the subjects of the pictures were actually known for posing for pictures. But here, Marilyn dies in the position of her greatest influence, posing, naked, defining the modern nude. The pose recalls her first calendar series, which gained her attention at just 18 years of age. She was on the cover of the very first issue of Playboy and, as every actor must have in his or her repertoire, here she does her death scene. As she is dying, she confuses her maid for the Angel of Death and tries to cover herself in a moment of shame as her life passes before her. But the angel is naked also and assures Marilyn that she’s done nothing to be ashamed of, it was just time to go. Becky (my model for both Marilyn and the Angel) and I were planning to start this sometime in late May but it wouldn’t be until June 1st that we would both have the time. We realized it was Marilyn’s birthday. Before starting to paint that day, I turned on the radio. It was in the middle of a very obscure version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – the song she had requested to be played at her funeral.

Frame by Beth Antonson

Anna of Ketchikan

2010
Oil on Canvas

George Shaffer

1996
Oil on Canvas

Tasha

2012
Conte Crayon on Newsprint

Life Drawing 1

1987
Conte Crayon on Newsprint

Beaver Totem

1990
Graphite on Manila Paper
From the tribal house in Saxman, Alaska.

Rattle 1 by Bill Holm

1990
Graphite on Oak Tag

Rattle 2 by Bill Holm

1990
Graphite on Oak Tag

I drew both of these during a halibut hook carving workshop given by Bill Holm at Ketchikan’s Heritage Center.

Israel Shotridge,
Kinstaadaal
Bear Clan
Teikweidee

1988
Oil on Canvas

I attended the Reilly League of Artists in White Plains, NY in ‘87 - ‘88 studying portraiture using the Frank Reilly palette based on the gem assayer’s scale of values. Returning to Ketchikan, I asked my friend Israel Shotridge if he would pose for me. After carving all day on the Chief Johnson Fog Woman pole (his first major commission), he would come to my studio and let me paint him.

From the collection of Phil & Katy Zeidner

David Jensen,
Aanki Teeyeeneidi Tuxecan
Dog Salmon House

1999
Oil on Canvas

Dave is the Chief of the Dog Salmon Clan.

From the collection of Jim Annicelli

Shy Dancer,
Evelyn Vanderhoop

1991
Oil on Canvas

My friend and fellow painter Evelyn is wearing a spruce root hat and a cedar bark cape that her sister, noted Haida weaver Holly Churchill, made after examining a 100 year old example in the Smithsonian collection. The hat was woven by: Delores Churchill, their mother and foremost Haida Weaver; Bill Holm, renowned artist and educator (author of The Analysis of Form, a widely respected treatise on formline design); April, the eldest of the three sisters; Evelyn herself; Holly; and Gloria Burns, Holly’s daughter, the younger generation of cultural historian. Finally, the frog crest was painted by Evelyn. When she first saw the portrait, Delores said that Evelyn looked like she was being shy. Evelyn said it looked like the way she felt when someone asked her to dance at a Potlatch.

From the collection of Phil & Katy Zeidner

William Pfeifer,
Tlingit name: Naa koo dzaaz eesh
Clan: Daksdeintaan
Father’s Clan: Chookaneidi Yetki
Mount Fairweather House

2008
Oil on Canvas

This was done as a trade. Bill is my chiropractor.

From the collection of Bill & Mary Pfeifer

Drawn from argillite carvings by Dempsey Bob

2001
Scratchboard

Waterfront Storage

2002
Oil on Canvas

I found a pencil outline of this image of Waterfront Storage (parts of which were a hundred years old) on this canvas that I hadn’t seen in 11 years – not since I’d first sat in my car and drew it. As they were actively knocking down the complex of buildings to allow for the construction of Berth 4 along Ketchikan’s waterfront, I realized that if I didn’t finish it immediately, I would forever lose my chance. So I parked in the same spot and filled it all in. By this point, all that was left was what is seen here. There was no more inside. Through the doors, a vacant lot. I finished, drove away, and the next day it was gone.

I conceived the frame, Beth Antonson built it, and I painted it.

From the collection of Penny Hamlin

Boats on the Grid
In Craig, Alaska

1983
Pastel on Brown Paper

Done while playing in the band over in Craig at the Craig Inn.

Top Left:

Have You Seen My Dragon Tattoo?

1999
Oil on Canvas

Spent about an hour or more painting Amanda Burrous (now of Juneau) as she sat in this dress. It wasn’t a very exciting pose, so we quit. She got up and headed for the bathroom to change. She stopped, looked over her shoulder, pulled down the back of the dress and asked, ‘Have you seen my tattoo?” This was way before the movie.

Middle Left:

View From Mary’s Window

2005
Oil on Canvas

Bottom Left:

Portrait of Adrian Davina,
My Daughter, in Her
Halloween Princess Crown

1991
Oil on Canvas

Top Right:

Hall Anderson

2011
Oil on Wood

Portrait of my friend and Ketchikan Daily News photographer Hall Anderson who has taken some of the most iconic images of Ketchikan. He, Ray Troll and I arrived in Ketchikan in 1983.

Middle Right:

Settler’s Cove

2006
Oil on Canvas Board

Bottom Right:

Red Bay Lake

2002
Oil on Canvas

Done while Mary and I spent two nights in a Forest Service cabin on Red Bay Lake, way up in the northwest corner of Prince of Wales Island, purported to be the home of Big Foot. What WAS throwing the boulders in the water?

Life Drawing 2

1987-2013
Conte Crayon on Buff-colored Paper

The frame is gold leaf, done by George Shaffer

Amputees Visit the Temple of Venus and Ponder the Ideal of Beauty

2013
Oil on Canvas

I was looking at a torso of Venus, held by our civilization to be an ideal of beauty, and wondered how an amputee or someone born without limbs feels when they see such a figure without arms, legs and in some cases, no head.

Like Father, Like Son

1990
Oil on Wood

Dan Bartos, Ketchikan born and raised, poses in his spiked hair and punk black leather jacket against a backdrop of the quaint little fishing village, Ketchikan. His father Louis also shaves his head. Dan, who is now teaching art in Idaho, is stricter with his children then Louis ever was with him.

The frame was made to resemble a Renaissance altarpiece; a person would sit at a table facing the painting, eye to eye, and meditate on the face of a saint or the Virgin Mary. I had the parts and design in mind but it was my friend, Homer artist Robert Walsh, who put it together, and I painted it. It’s not really gold.

The Annicelli Family Portrait

1995
Oil on Canvas

As a junior officer, Col. Annicelli was the navigator on the weather reconnaissance flight that flew from Greenland to Dover, England the night before D-Day. As General Eisenhower and the Allied forces waited in London for the weather report that would determine when there might be a window of opportunity to cross the English channel and invade France, James J. Annicelli was taking a mean of the conditions, their B-17 flying so low that spray from the waves was coming right over the nose. He is here with his wife Barbara and their niece Whitney. Later, he came to Alaska as a colonel in the Army Building Corps. He oversaw construction of the first landing field at Indian Mt. Air Force Station. It took almost a year and upon finishing the job, he sent for his wife Barbara and together they drove through Alaska. They finally settled in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in a house designed and built by James. Their son Jimmy now lives in Ketchikan and this painting hangs in his house.

From the collection of Jim Annicelli

Mandy Davis

2001
Oil on Canvas

Mandy is the daughter of Marvin and Lani Davis, owners of Tongass Business Center in Ketchikan. Marvin is originally from Juneau. Mandy is a writer.

From the collection of Marvin & Lani Davis

Janel, The Fisher Girl

1985
Oil on Canvas

Ralph Vic

2008
Oil on Wood

1990
Oil on Canvas

Portrait of a Young Girl in a Hair Dryer

1990
Oil on Canvas

This portrait of my friend Bonnie Driscoll is intended to first appear as if it were an old painting of an unknown person in an elegant, felt or silk hat (it is a plastic hair dryer found in an Anchorage thrift store). My title makes fun of the profession that creates titles for paintings in Art History books: Portrait of a Man, Portrait of a Man in a Hat, Portrait of a Man in a Red Hat...

Top:

Psycho Matter

2013
Oil on Canvas

Middle:

Glow Worm

1967
Oil on Canvas

This is what we were doing in high school, my best friend Eddie and I, trying to paint light shows.

From the artist’s personal collection

Bottom:

One Point Perspective

2013
Oil on Wood

We are born with the conceptual capacity to conceive 3 dimensions on a 2 dimensional plane and are thus able to imply the eternal by suggesting infinity using the device of 1 point perspective seen here as the highway stretching off into the distance, vanishing into the horizon, where parallel lines seem to converge. It leads right back to where we come from.