Russia-born, New York-based artist Dima Rebus creates arresting watercolors with visuals that blend surrealism and modernized labeling. Recent works move between quiet scenes and crowd-filled cacophonies, packed with contemporary commentary. He was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
“Every day my personal dealer wakes me up with a gentle kiss watercolor” is an example of how the artist references digital interruptions in his unsettling works, with its “OK” button prompt. Likewise, “Location” uses a “human was here” map marker upon a fallen soldier tribute.
For his 2016 solo project “Good Deal,” the artist transformed the outside of the Artwin Gallery in Russia. “I wrapped up the building for the audience,” Rebus recalls. “This type of styrofoam packaging for prepared food can be found on the shelves of any grocery store. When you walk into the store, you don’t have to hunt for food – it’s already waiting for you in these packages. All you have to do is choose the goods that best suit your needs. The exhibition operates a little like a store, where the display is already pre-packaged, with little space for improvisation. The label of my packaged art object includes a line assuring that the product is “100% extra lean.” This is no accident: in the very beginning, street art arose as a spontaneous creative response to the urban environment. Street art that’s been made-to-order for an art exhibition or biennale is no less real, but we have to admit all the same that it is something of an oxymoron. I am not against natural reserves, but there is a very clear distinction between true wilderness and controlled nature.”