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Brett Rubin is a photographer & visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

His practice is concerned with challenging the conventions of the medium via an exploration into memory, infrastructure and landscape; and how we traverse these spaces internally and externally.

Rubin’s work has been exhibited and featured in various capacities, namely, the Design Indaba (2009), Edinburgh International Art and Fashion Festival (2012), Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition (2014), NATAAL Africa Utopia Exhibition (Southbank Centre, London (2016), The Villa Show, Johannesburg curated by Jonathan Freemantle (2018).
In 2019 Rubin organised an exhibition of portraits of Hugh Masekela in association with Art Joburg art fair and the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation, which was held at Circa Gallery in Johannesburg. 








2019
HUGH MASEKELA IN PHOTOGRAPHS, CIRCA GALLERY JOHANNESBURG                            
A solo exhibition of a selection of Hugh Masekela portraits and music videos made by Rubin between 2012 and 2018. This exhibition was held in conjunction with The Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation and Art Joburg and took place over the Johannesburg Art Fair.
Forming part of the Mesh Photography Series, the exhibition ran alongside and in conversation with a retrospective of the recently unearthed archive of Daniel Morolong’s photography of daily life from the 1950s. The exhibitions were curated by Musa Nxumalo and Percy Mabandu.
Speakers at the VIP Art Joburg event included a panel discussion between curator Percy Mabandu in discussion with Ashraf Jamal and Dr. Konji Sebati who spoke on behalf of the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation. At the gala event, Barbara Masekela was the guest speaker of honour.  

2018
THE VILLA EXHIBITION, JOHANNESBURGCURATED BY JONATHAN FREEMANTLE
A salon wall of various printed works and a single small-scale work (ceramic ink on glass in white Namibian marble base) from the series AUTO PORTRAITS included in a group show curated by Jonathan Freemantle in an abandoned mansion in Hyde Park.

2017
‘(DON’T) LOOK BACK’  GROUP SHOW  GALLERY MOMO CAPE TOWN IN ASSOCIATION WITH NIROX SCULPTURE FOUNDATION                                              
One smaller-scale work (ceramic ink on glass in white Namibian marble base) from the series AUTO PORTRAITS included in a group show that showcases some of the Nirox Foundation’s sculpture work throughout its history.

2016
PASTORAL ABSTRACTION GROUP SHOW EVERARD READ GALLERY CAPE TOWN               one large-scale (ceramic ink on glass in steel base) and one smaller scale work (ceramic ink on glass in white Namibian marble base) from the series AUTO PORTRAITS included in the Pastoral Abstraction winter group show at Everard Read Gallery Cape Town.

2016
‘HLABALELA: IT’S A NEW MOURNING NKUSH’  GOODMAN GALLERY JOHANNESBURG  
One seven meter large-scale panoramic wallpaper print by Rubin was included in the group exhibition curated by the celebrated South African band and performance collective The Brother Moves On.  

2016
40 ACTORS PORTRAIT EXHIBITION AT THE MARKET THEATRE JOHANNESBURG                An exhibition of 40 portraits photographed by Brett Rubin in one week featuring a selection of 40 actors both young and old who have all performed on the stage at the renowned Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The exhibition was in celebration of the theatres 40th anniversary.

2016
AFRICA UTOPIA EXHIBITION (SOUTHBANK CENTRE LONDON)                    
Awork from THE BIER SERIES (2009 - ) an ongoing collaboration with Cameron Foden was shown at the Nataal Africa Utopia festival and evening salon exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre on the River Thames. This was accompanied with an online feature of the series.
“Brett Rubin and Cameron Foden confront the spectre of empire in their evolving visual project shot against South Africa’s epic backdrops”.

2015
BRONZE, STEEL, STONE GROUP EXHIBITION MOUNT NELSON HOTEL CAPE TOWN        one outdoor large-scale work installed in the garden of the Belmont Mount Nelson Hotel as part of a group exhibition showcasing South African contemporary sculpture, curated by Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.

2015
HAZARD GALLERY GROUP SHOW
three maquettes (ceramic ink on glass) and one di- bond print from the series AUTO PORTRAITS at the inaugural group show at Hazard Gallery in the Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg.

2014
NIROX SCULPTURE FOUNDATION WINTER EXHIBITION
two outdoor large-scale works and several maquette works (ceramic ink on glass) from the AUTO PORTRAITS series at the 2014 NIROX Foundation Winter Sculpture Exhibition in the Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg.
(This was the firt time works from the AUTO PORTRAITS series was exhibited. Both large works were acquired for a private collection).  

2012
SKIN PORTRAITS / EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL ART & FASHION FESTIVAL
a series of abstract portraits that accompany a renowned perfumer’s interpretation of nine iconic South African’s personal scents based upon cultural heritage. 

                      


PRESS




2019
A FOCUS IN OUR CHAOS ART FAIR REVIEW BY ASHRAF JAMAL                                                   Written review of the 2019 Art Joburg Art Fair and Art Week JHB, with an emphasis on the Hugh Masekela exhibition.
“Inside of chaos there is grace. Inside of threat there is the potential, always, for beauty and wonder. The realisation of this potent greatness is embodied in the music and person of the late great Hugh Masekela, feted on the rooftop of Circa in Rosebank, the city’s warm bright night stretching all about. Percy Mabandu and Masakela’s sister spoke beautifully of the gentleness and bravura and grandeur of the man, of his loathing of artificial braids and his love of youthful talent, his distrust of parochialism and his championing of a planetary humanism. While Brett Rubin, whose photographs of Masekela stood vigil, conveyed through his gentle quiet the wonder that comes with touching the life of another. Masekela was amongst us in spirit and bone. On this great occasion devoted to African art he encapsulated the richness in our dark time – a focus in our chaos”.

2019
SOME OTHER LABEL INTERVIEW & FEATURE                                                                           In conversation with Some Other Label on all things that have proved influential.
In today’s hyper-visual, post-rational world, too many people place a higher value on style over substance and I believe we are living in a time that for me conjures up Aesop’s foreboding warning: “BEWARE, LEST YOU LOSE THE SUBSTANCE BY GRASPING AT THE SHADOW.”

2016
PASTORAL ABSTRACTION GROUP SHOW REVIEW  ARTTHROB ONLINE                        “suddenly it is evident that it is not our movement that is causing the blur, but rather the landscapes are slipping past us. Figures and all human remnants dissolve away”.

2016
NATAAL ONLINE FEATURE
An online feature of THE BIER SERIES (2009 - ) an ongoing collaboration with Cameron Foden. “Brett Rubin and Cameron Foden confront the spectre of empire in their evolving visual project shot against South Africa’s epic backdrops”.

2014
VOYAGE D’E’TUDES FEATURE AND INTERVIEW 
an in depth interview about the process of making works on glass and the image making process behind the series AUTO PORTRAITS series.  
Henry Miller once wrote that ‘one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things’.


© Brett Rubin Studio 2020