Art Works: Alex Rubes

Interview: LeftLion
Thursday 08 August 2019
reading time: min, words

There's more to the badgers than meets the eye...


I first got into the graffiti writing culture at school with my mates in the mid to late eighties. It was just a bit of fun really, but from then on my passion grew for making paintings in the public arena with spray paint.

In 2015 the badger cull was in effect so I decided to run another ‘Illustrati’ event with the aim of showing the badgers some love and celebrate them through art. The event ‘Illustrati presents Team Badger’ happened at Thirtyfive Gamble in Nottingham, with live illustration and badger-themed artwork made by lots of local artists. Money that was raised on the night from the sale of the artworks went to the Nottingham Sabs to help with their cause.

The Team Badger event led me to collaborating with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and, in 2018, I painted a geometrical badger painting at the Idle Valley Autumn Festival. The aim was to display the finished painting on the front of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust offices in Sneinton Market, but due to size issues I had to rework a new piece that still reflected the initial geometrical concept of the original painting.

A lot of my current work has a fun element to it, so the painting in Sneinton Market didn’t differ much. I just had to work to the constraints of the space available. I have two workshops with the Wildlife Trust coming up, firstly on 10th August, when I will be at the Wildside Festival in Ilkeston, and on 21st August, when I will be at the Wilder Woodland Gathering at Skylarks Nature Reserve in Nottingham.

So far this year I have painted festivals in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Toulon in France and the Bring The Paint festival in Leicester. At the end of the year I will be back in Chiang Mai for a month-long art residency at an art studio, and this will mark the start of a South-East Asian painting tour that will last for several months.

See more of Alex's work at Rough Trade on Sunday 1 September as part of For Fox Sake.

Alex Rubes website

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