Neoteric Art: What made you decide to be a painter?
Jorg Dubin: I don’t think there was any one thing that “made me decide” to be a painter. I wasn’t standing at the occupation counter after high school and had to make a choice between a doctor, fireman or painter. It is a creative gene that manifests itself into many forms. Mine was multi disciplinary. Painting, sculpture and music amongst other things. Creativity mixed with mechanical curiosity.
NA: Your paintings deal with the human form. Why is this important to you?
JD: There is a narrative in the human form that is at the core of why it is the primary subject of my paintings. People tell a story in their posture, their body language and on their faces. Especially in their eyes. Flesh is also an interesting challenge in terms of painting it. There is beauty in it. A tactile sensuality. It reflects its immediate environment and atmosphere. And it satisfies a certain voyeuristic tendency that most if not all figure painters have.
NA: Do you struggle with the human form still being relevant in the art world today?
JD: Who has said it was irrelevant? The bigger question is the relevancy of most art in general regardless of subject. My struggle deals more with my ideas and the execution of those ideas. I am not overly concerned about the end game to my work. That is not for me to decide. My fight is between myself and the paint and the search for something that has meaning to me on a very personal and emotional level. The human form will always be relevant in arts oeuvre as long as humans are still making art.
NA: Share your process when creating a new painting.
JD: Hmmm, process. I suppose it starts with some self motivation followed by an idea regardless of how vague. Once I am reasonably sure that my ideas merit continued effort, I begin a rather mundane mechanical breakdown of what is required in terms of visual aids to complete a painting. The right model to fit the idea. Props, lighting, scale of the canvas and so on. Once I have all the pieces together I begin a “mapping out” of the image on the canvas. Then the hard part begins. The additive and reductive layers of paint. Contemplating every move. Hoping to find some language in the marks. Building history into the surface and then deconstructing it until at some point there is an end. A point at which no more marks or applications of paint will enhance and most likely will detract from the final result. I always hope to find one little passage in every painting that reminds me of why I do this. It may never be something that anyone else sees. I need to know that there is no other way to arrive at a finished work other then through a genuine struggle between myself and this chosen medium. That a human being touched this surface and made every mark. And to have a bit of fun along the way.
NA: Who are some of your favorite painters?
JD: There are a lot of course. Rembrandt, Eakins, Freud. Tomory Dodge. Chuck Close. Stephen Douglas. I am drawn to any painter regardless of subject whose ideas are interesting and whose work is arrived at with skill and honesty. And of course anyone who uses paint because there is no other medium that they can use to get the result they are looking for. Humanity in a painter is a core value for me.
NA: Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
JD: Wow! You are right about one thing. My work DOES take me rather then the other way around. It takes my time, my emotions and whatever skill I may posses. It takes me for a ride that often leads to a dead end. Seemingly it takes more then it gives at times. Honestly, I don’t look to far down the road as that is a perilous journey. My work has taken me through 35 years of exploration, some wins and a bunch of defeats. However I wake up every day and am still doing it so in that aspect I have won. I will continue to use the human form as the basis for my creative journey. Perhaps a new mark now and then and a serendipitous passage on occasion to help remind me that I am lucky to be doing this. A satisfying execution of a decent idea like the feeling you get at the end of a good meal. The future is for others to define. The path is my goal not what lays at the end.