Venetian carnival has many layers: sinister beauty; decadence; dark undertones; flamboyant fabrics; hidden agendas beneath impassive alien masks. It plays by its own unpredictable rules.
As an artist losing her eyesight, Nicole Rubio has translated fear of her increasingly unseen environment into the Venetian Carnival metaphor. Mutinous curbs, people intersecting from random directions, predatory cars looming up from the fog. In a body of twelve large scale pastel drawings (36 by 46 inches framed) all those nuances speak. The carnival is a vehicle for overstating the real fears of everyday daily life for her innermost, secretly damaged self.
Over the past fifty years she has explored the questions of femininity and seduction, aging, social insecurity and deception through revealing and concealing masks. There is a contradiction between the need to be seen and the fear of being seen. It all comes to a head in Venetian carnival, where there is extravagant display in which one is also hiding oneself.
Nicole Rubio was born in New York and graduated from the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston. After art school she migrated to California, where reality set in, and she supported herself for the next thirty years as a secretary. She retired In 2010 and has spent the last ten years developing a body of large scale pastel drawings; beauty layered with seduction and social anxiety. She has shown in juried national and local group shows, local solo shows, and has been interviewed for The 510 Podcast.