Hildegarde Staninger, PhD, RIET-1

Rick Dubov

In Custom Portals - Rick Dubov, Dr. Hildegarde Staninger, Portals to Destiny, Rick Dubov, The Book, Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 at 1:04 AM
Artist: Rick Dubov

Artist: Rick Dubov

Fantasy Ride to the Future

An Interview with Rick Dubov

By Nancy Kersey

Los Angeles artist, Rick Dubov, sat upon debonair actor David Niven’s knee as a tot. That was life in a family like his – a theatrical family. “I grew up in showbiz,” says the silver-haired Dubov these many years later, calling himself a “late bloomer.”

His mother was a screenwriter, and his dad was an actor and writing collaborator. Together they created the ‘60’s show, “Honey West”, starring Ann Francis, and in the ‘50’s, they worked for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

“I loved it. It was great,” said Dubov, who, with his two brothers, was allowed to mix and mingle at the great parties his parents often threw. In that milieu, one would expect Dubov to be an actor, hands down, even though he was an art history major at the University of California in Irvine and graduated there with a B.A. and a Masters in Fine Arts.

After his high school romance with figurative work, in his college years in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, he was concentrating on abstract works of art. After college, he had a brief segue as a makeup artist in the fashion industry, in Milan, for a year. He followed that up with six months in Paris, where he was a frequent visitor to museums and studied painting there.

“The European influence is big with me,” says Dubov. “I find America a bit shallow. There’s less nuance and subtlety here.”

Later on, in the midst of his artwork, he took a sojourn to fulfill his earlier theatrical aspirations. “It was a thwarted ambition. I always loved acting. I studied it for five years. I’m a good actor, but I’m a better painter. That’s more of my God-given talent.”

Dubov veered off the theatrical path. There was something bigger beckoning to him. “I had been studying with a medical doctor, a Qigong (Chi Kung) master, learning about esoteric Taoism and doing energy work. Lots of metaphysical ideas came out of it.”

The result is a series of fantasy-like doorways, “The Portal Series,” which looks into the limitless future where anything and everything is possible. “The old formulas for life – the ones we grew up with — just aren’t working for anybody anymore,” says Dubov.

“I got to create these imaginative spaces that can take you through time and space.” They are so out there and forward- looking and abstract that you would expect Dubov’s heroes to be Klee, Kandinsky, Pollack, or Mondrian, but his favorite painter is none other than the 17th Century artist Velasquez. “His paintings – They’re still alive!”

“It leads me to a discourse of what is old, (and) what is now,” says Dubov. “The floating atmosphere is what is relevant . Velasquez is not locked down to a flat surface, a linear perspective. It’s an in-between place.”

“Red Portal,” (second in the five-work Portal series) is a substantial 30- to 40- pound work (27” X 53”) painted on Baltic Birch so it won’t warp. Dubov leads your eye into the vast unknown. It’s open sesame, beckoning us onward. It becomes a marriage of heavy, tangible weight and weightlessness. “There is a flatness and a hovering and a sense of a space behind the painting. To do it on canvas just wouldn’t work. I needed a dense material,” says Dubov.

“I think this is a meditative thing when it is lit right. Color can excite you. I was just the engineer. I engineered a transcendent experience. I did the series in isolation, totally alone, allowing all my thoughts and reflections to go into the painting and condense it all into an indestructible jewel.’”

Another of the portal series shows us the ubiquitous light at the end of the tunnel. It shines brightly with gold scrollwork down the right-hand side of the painting halfway across the bottom of the work that Dubov has christened “The Infanta Margarita”, as homage to Velasquez, who painted the daughter of King Philip IV of Spain of the same name. It gleams and glimmers with the promise of something better ahead.

Most days, Dubov’s nervous energy causes him to doodle when on the phone, always with a figurative drive behind it. “I work so unconsciously that something in the doodle may show up.”

Dubov is a master at pushing himself to attain certain goals. He actually tricked himself into creating the Portal series, the first of which contains the same broken pieces of moulding suggesting a doorway with a realistic-looking brass doorknob painted in the center.

After a long lay-off in which Dubov had not painted, he challenged himself, making up a client in his head, one with a corporate commission: “The Portal Series.”

“I began thinking of architectural fragments. They have to be strong from 100 feet away, but when you go up to them, all sorts of subtle things pop out.”

Dubov continues to throw out challenges to himself, having moved on from the portals. He’ll give himself an hour to do a piece with the restriction that he can’t go back in the end and fix it. “When doing an artwork, I’m totally obsessed or neurotic about it.” He even refers to himself as “the painting Yenta.”

He has moved on to new works: figures superimposed onto an actual page from the newspaper, often painting in a background color, say a warm beige, leaving some of the newsprint still showing at the top or around the edges. There are no models. I pull them out of the ether,” says Dubov.

His figures look like they could be found sitting in a dimly lit Paris café, no doubt like the ones Dubov frequented when he lived there. That’s the vibe of these somewhat androgynous beings from an indefinable time period. “They look very theatrical, which goes back to my upbringing,” says Dubov, who is invested in the bright future that lies ahead. He has cast aside all that no longer works for him.

“All these people I know are retiring . . . I was at loose ends, and now I’ve returned. I keep engaged. Picasso died at 91 and was doing three paintings a day. If anybody gave the world the finger, it was him.”

Nancy Kersey, a 20-year veteran journalist, is the Editor of IHS Press.

~ Rick Dubov on Facebook – Contact Rick at:  dubov@sbcglobal.net ~

AUDIO:  Dr. Hildy and Rick Dubov Read ‘Portals to Destiny’.mp3]

**3-26-14-Dr. Hildy® – CUSTOM PORTALS to your SUPER TACHYONS of CREATION with Rick Dubov | One Cell One Light™ Radio

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