Sparking up Spring with a little Creative Inspiration
Two weeks ago I visited the closing reception for visual artist Rad Roubeni and his streetscapes exhibit. I was able to see his work during my time at fashion week at this one-of-a-kind event. The streetscapes were photographs of graffiti in the Tribeca area. It is an interesting concept, a picture of a picture, a picture of graffiti left by unknown talents; Roubeni’s streetscapes capture emotions and moments in time; they speak to the artistic and exotic culture of this area of New York, and they preserve street art of city that may be torn down tomorrow.
I had a chance to interview Roubeni about his career as an artist and photographer and the inspiration behind the exhibit. Roubeni grew up in Hamburg Germany and began his young career as a photographer at age 12. Throughout his schooling he learned about shooting motion, still photography, editing and darkroom skills. Later he moved to New York and studied Media Arts at the Pratt Institute. He began his career as a fashion photographer, doing commercial and editorial but yearned for a greater creative outlet which is how he wound up photographing art in a new way, putting on exhibits such as this one. I asked Roubeni why capturing street are was meaningful to him – he responded:
“[Because] street artists do it to do it without accreditation; these photographs preserve things that are gone or get destroyed when developers come and tear down areas [to build new things] and people would never know what was there before…”
Particularly interesting to me, was the continuous drawings and ‘graffiti’ by attendees on the previously barren white walls. There were boxes of chalk all around for people to draw – but no one could have imagined every wall being completely filled by the end of the night. It was amazing to see Roubeni’s work capturing graffiti to become surrounded by the exact essence of the exhibit. Photographs of street art, the artists unknown, yet apparent emotion and character—surrounded by walls of freshly chalked drawings from spectators feeding off the energy and atmosphere that night; the artists also unknown, but the moment in time very apparent.