working artists


Cynthia Beth Rubin

artist statement | technical statement | process


The Wilder Building

The Wilder Building in Rochester, NY, was a building of detective stories
and shadowy black and white movies, where names were printed on translucent
glass windows in heavy doors, and letters dropped through mysterious slots to
be magically transported away. It was here that my father, as a young attorney,
set up his desk and swivel chair and awaited his future. This is where, in my
imagination, Bronco the dog (his first client) came to see him, although I know
in reality that Bronco stayed at home protecting the world from litigious mailmen.
(my father won the case for Bronco)

In 1995, in the final weeks of my father¹s life, I gave him a print of my work
Krakow, Prague, & Rochester. As I pointed out the hidden windows of the
Wilder Building, his eyes lit up, and I knew that the memories of the Wilder Building
were powerful enough to merit a work of their own.

Safed Hiding Places:

In 1492, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew Bible fled Spain in the arms
of expelled Jews, who found comfort in the teachings of mysticism and
safety in the hidden caves of Safed. While they protected and studied
the Bible, they wondered what forces had caused such upheaval in their
exterior world. Safed Hiding Places is about this moment in history. I
It is about a real occurrence that continues to be repeated in various forms.

An outside force causes everything to shift in a flash, and only culture,
memory, and a few precious objects persist. Eventually the Bible made its way to Marseilles, where I befriended it.

Throughout the years, I turned to the carpet pages painted in 1260, in
Toledo, and found a certain sense of history and connection with the past.
While my earlier works borrow visual form from the Bible, this image is a
tribute to the Bible's own story.