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Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin

Tucked away in her secluded Northern California home and studio, Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin has plenty of time to think about the importance of what she does on this planet:

From the beginning of human history, making marks depicting the physical world has been a constant. Our ability to question the meaning and purpose of our existence is what differentiates us from other animal species. Representation in painting touches on this core human truth. It is as much a part of our existence as storytelling and poetry. No matter the subject or content - how complex or how minimal - representational painting incorporates the gift of a narrative. That being said, representation cannot stand alone. The true poetry lies in the orchestration of a good composition combined with the skillful use of paint and color, all driven by sensory perception, intuition and memory. No matter the time in history, when done masterfully, it is timeless. In daily life, we 'look' but we do not always 'see'. We are physical beings in a tactile three dimensional world. Representation makes us pay attention to our surroundings as well as to ideas and relationships. We all have a story to tell. It is my firm belief that representational painting will always be new no matter the trends or curatorial leanings of the times."

Predictions are that in less than three decades we humans will create a being that is superior to ourselves. The following day we will have to cope with our newfound status as a second tier intelligence. Some think that through biological and technological body enhancements we will be able to keep up with our competition, or that we will be able to somehow prevent the advent of our superior artificial creation. I doubt it. I think we are stuck with being us whatever the consequences are. As we enter this time of unimaginable and rapid change, representational painting offers the possibility of connecting with those parts of us that are most human, most necessary for a livable existence. For forty thousand years, long before mankind invented written language, we have put down marks that left a living trace of who we are, what we saw, and what we thought. We need those marks now more than ever before.

F. Scott Hess Artist & Associate Professor, Laguna College of Art + Design, MFA & BFA Programs

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