Taking stock with Reuben

Visual artist. Music hoarder. Thinker. Reuben Stocks is a Brisbane-based street artist who you most recently would have seen winning the inaugural Live Art Battle during the epic Signs of The Time urban art exhibition at Gold Coast City Gallery. We were keen to know more about this enigmatic character, so we shot him a few questions.

Were you an artistic child? Tell me a little about Little Reuben, and when you actually discovered your love for art.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time around creatives as a young child. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for art and music. I started drawing in early primary school and found a strong connection to it. My mum taught me how to use a spray can at 12 to cope with my crippling obsession with graffiti. I had a mentor in my early teenage years, spending Saturday mornings with collector, horologist and artist, Malcom Enright, who, with his partner, jeweller Barbara Heath, showed me a world of design and creativity that (at the time I didn’t know) would change my appreciation for, and perception of, design and art as a whole.

What was your experience of live art prior to the battle? Do you get nerves and if so, how do you handle them?

I have a lot of experience doing live painting, so nerves weren’t too bad at the art battle. Over the past two years I have been painting live at music festivals, doing outdoor installations on plastic wrap – a concept called Cellograff started by two French artists, Astro & Kanos in 2009.

Many artists have “go to” themes, palettes etc. Do you have a stable of favourites?

I use acrylics as a base. The vessel in which I deliver them to the surface varies – Aerosol, paint marker, brush, spray bottle. I’m super into fluid acrylics at the moment.

What kind of art do you surround yourself with at home?

I have a wide variety of art at home. Artists in my collection include – Does, Sam Hillcoat, Lucks, Phibs, Idroes and Emmanuel Moore to name a new. I’m all about the crossover of fine art and urban form. Typically riddled with detail and clean lines, be it Typography, Calligraffiti, classic graffiti style. Structure. Form. Flow. Colour.

Tell us a little about the exhibition you’re working on at the moment.

I’ve started to create a new body of work that I aim to show late 2017 or early 2018. Mainly acrylic works on canvas. There is a definite focus on detail with these works.

What else is happening for you in 2017?

After moving into a fresh studio space this year.  I’m also looking forward to a trip to Tokyo to soak up some inspiration. It’s head down creation station. Apart from that – Haha shit, I don’t know.

You can check out some of Reuben’s incredible piece on Instagram @dank_zappa

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