Russell Sunabe

Honolulu, O‘ahu; b. Hawai‘i
Media: Mixed-media sculpture and video

Capturing the sensations of our present, albeit from an existentialist perspective, is the driving force to my objectives in painting. It reflects my own strong feelings, my response to the world. I’d like to quote the painter Max Beckmann because I can't say it any better: “What is important to me in my work is the identity that is hidden behind so- called reality. I search for a bridge from the visible to the invisible, like the famous cabalist who once said, ‘If you wish to grasp the invisible, penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible.'”

My paintings are open allegorical constructions in the way that Robert Rauschenberg first intended with his combines. Except that the found with which he collaged are conceptual for me, as there is enough of modern painting history to look back on. I attempt with the issues inherent to the activity of contemporary painting to make it fresh for myself in this art-historical moment of great subjectivity.

Recipient of the Violette Wong Hu Award and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Recognition Award