Robert Bubp

Artist Statement

I have always been a bit of a dreamer, intrigued by the contrast between the plan and the real. And I dream about possibilities.

I’ve lived a few places and visited a few more, and from long ago I remember being intrigued by the vernacular forms of different peoples and places. I’m interested in the ways people “make” their communities, and wonder what they might do next; my drawings are hypothetical proposals for places, exploring perceptions of what is real and what might be real, drawn to mimic the “correctness” of architectural renderings and printed images. But I like doing more than one thing. I get excited by multiplicity of forms (it means more possibilities).

I create steel map paintings from research into specific current and past sites; they are record-keepers, of a sort. I go to places and talk to people for my installations, then use conversations and collaborative creative output to form a dialog around local socio-spatial concerns, emphasizing creative play rather than a formal urban planning process. Individualized, fantastic interpretations are celebrated alongside serious and practical ones; the installations employ a fragmentary, quixotic amateurism that considers creativity, art, local identity, and place. And it can’t all be contained within the gallery walls.

These ideas and forms are held together by the conversation of the challenges of local and global community-building. How does a place become “desirable”? How does a place change its self-concept (or should it)? What makes a place a place? What are the possibilities?