Chris DeRubeis on Creating Silver, Copper Metal Art
What could make a work of metal art from Chris DeRubeis even more unique and special? How about if that metal is silver or copper?
DeRubeis has not only unveiled more of his original metal art at Park West Gallery’s “Abstract Sensualism®” exhibition, but has showcased his unique style on metals like sterling silver that are available to collect.
DeRubeis first worked with metal at a custom motorcycle shop in Los Angeles where he helped design paint jobs. The patterns created on the metal from grinding it ignited DeRubeis’ inspiration, eventually leading to the creation of his “Abstract Sensualism” style.
The most common metal DeRubeis works with is aircraft aluminum. He says metal allows him to achieve the aesthetics and reactions that a canvas cannot provide, and combines painting and sculpture into one medium.
“The reflective qualities, the depth, the things that I can do with it to create more than just a painting,” he says. “It’s something that feels like it’s actually alive and has energy within the piece.”
For DeRubeis, the choice to work on precious metals is a combination of the success of his art, his desire to try new things and the loyalty of his collectors. He says he always dreamed about working with metals like silver ever since he began creating metal art.
“It’s something that I could actually afford, so I was like ‘why not, let’s try it,’” he says with a smile.
DeRubeis obtains the large panels of metals from distributors who sell precious metals for jewelry, using them as panels for his art. He admits he never thought he would actually be able to paint on silver or gold, but with his continued success, he is glad to bring something new to his collectors.
“I can give something else unique and super collective for a collector that really wants that next-level piece,” he says. “I always try to offer my collectors something of value and cool and unique and different that no one else is doing.”
Not only is DeRubeis experimenting with valuable metal, but also with diamonds. Specifically, DeRubeis has started including diamond dust in his artwork to give it an extra shine and sparkle.
“It’s finely, finely crushed little elements of the diamond crystals, it’s in a serum,” he says. “I’m able to apply it wet in a gel form…it’s not sprayed on, it’s hand-painted on.”
Compared to aluminum, DeRubeis says the metals present their own challenges. Metals like gold are softer than aluminum, and the oils from one’s skin will leave marks and discolor metal like copper, so he has to take extra precautions when in the studio.
“It’s just a process of trying to figure out what you can and can’t do with certain metals,” he says.
Now that his dream of working with the precious metals has been realized, DeRubeis says maybe he’ll even venture into creating works that involve more gold and even platinum.
“I want to continue pushing the limits on that, experiencing more things I can do with the silver and the gold,” he says. “I’m always trying to do something different and cool and unique.”