Iconic Artist Chris DeRubeis Talks About His Abstract Sensualism®

 In Art & Gallery News, Articles, Artists & Special Collections, Chris DeRubeis
Chris DeRubeis Park West Gallery

Chris DeRubeis (Photo courtesy of David Smith)

Artist Chris DeRubeis keeps most of his techniques for creating his unique metal art to himself, but he recently opened up to Park West Gallery about how he developed his trademark “Abstract Sensualism®” and his own personal style.


Abstract Sensualism®

There are many “-isms” in art, whether it’s Cubism, Impressionism or Surrealism. DeRubeis’ art comes close to Abstract Expressionism, but the term didn’t quite capture what DeRubeis wanted to convey. Instead of giving up, he invented his own “-ism.”

He calls his artistic style Abstract Sensualism®, which is characterized by the way his art reflects and moves in the light and its sleek, sexy curves and imagery.

“The Fishermen” (2020), Chris DeRubeis

“I like the movements that the grinds on the metal have with all the sweeps and curves, and all the soft, sensual movement lines,” he says.

When he was young, DeRubeis’ parents quickly learned their child had a penchant for art. His grandfather – an artist turned businessman – gave DeRubeis his first airbrush at age 13 to encourage him. The airbrush became DeRubeis’ favorite tool.

“He got me the brush and gave me a certificate for lessons,” DeRubeis says. “I got to learn how to use the brush and equipment, learned some tricks, and I just went home and practiced with it.”

At age 16, DeRubeis turned this passion into a job airbrushing shirts at Six Flags Theme Park in Los Angeles, where he learned to paint quickly and efficiently. He continued on this path by enrolling in art school, where DeRubeis earned his keep by creating customized Harley-Davidson gas tanks.

“Flight to Sky” (2020), Chris DeRubeis

One day in his workshop, a 20-year-old DeRubeis took a grinder to a tank to remove the paint and was struck by what he saw. The newly-exposed metal patterns bounced and reflected light, and his mind raced with possibilities. Soon he was experimenting with chemicals, power tools, and heat to see what other reactions he could achieve.

This all culminated with the creation of Abstract Sensualism®, an art form that combines sculpture and painting that was nearly two decades in the making.

“I do a lot of abstract [work] and I do a lot of figurative [work], and sometimes I combine the two together,” he says. “There are a lot of abstract elements and a lot of my pieces have chemical reactions.”

As alluring as his style sounds, practicing it isn’t for the faint of heart. DeRubeis seals himself in a chamber, using paint and a unique mixture of chemicals known only to him on large sheets of metal. If you watched him creating one of his works, you might witness scorching fires, freezing temperatures, chemical reactions, and sparks flying from grinding metal. On average, the process takes about three weeks per artwork.

“Fluctuation” (2020), Chris DeRubeis

DeRubeis equips himself with goggles, coveralls, gloves, and a breathing mask while in his studio. He says these precautions are necessary, as some of the chemicals are quite potent.

“It’s dangerous stuff,” he says of his process.

DeRubeis considers his process a “controlled chaos” that has its own beauty and abstraction. “I have control over it, but not total control,” he says.


Chris DeRubeis On His Personal Style

Chris DeRubeis Park West Gallery

Chris DeRubeis (Photo courtesy of David Smith)

Much like his artwork, DeRubeis prefers an edgy style. Perhaps the most striking aspect is his distinct hair, which includes a striped mohawk and leopard spots. Like Abstract Sensualism®, it all started with an experiment.

DeRubeis said one day, while talking with his hairdresser, she mentioned how DeRubeis didn’t have a typical 9-to-5 job and perhaps his appearance should reflect that freedom. The artist thought it over and let the hairdresser work her magic. Since then, DeRubeis’ look, much like his Abstract Sensualism®, has become a signature of the artist.

“She was being an artist herself, I just had her use my head as a canvas,” he says with a chuckle.


If you’re interested in collecting the works of Chris DeRubeis, attend one of our exciting online auctions or contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or sales@parkwestgallery.com.

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Showing 14 comments
  • Janette Thomas

    I was so impressed with DeRubeis’ work on a Cruise last October, I bought the Red and Blue one. I have the Red one now and it is beautiful!! I am waiting patiently on the arrival on my Blue one to complete my collection. I just LOVE the way the Red one lights up the area I have it in, and I see it every morning and night. DeRubeis has been blessed with a gift, and he is blessing others through his works of Art. I am going on another Cruise this June, who knows I just might see another one or two that I really like. Thank you too Park West for displaying ALL types of Art. This is not the first time I have bought through Park West, and believe me, won’t be the last!!! Cheers!!!

  • Terry Paul

    Great article! I have the ‘Opposites attract’ Trio hanging in my living room on the wood paneling. Great investment for amazing artistry! I receive MANY compliments re/ it’s beauty & unique mediums! Keep it up Chris,always looking forward to your next creations!

  • Ken & Gillian Alessio

    We met Chris last year on a PWG VIP cruise. Chris is a very interesting, friendly and talented artist. We acquired several of his pieces and love them.

  • Art Whelan

    We own two of the artists works. Looking forward to seeing more. They always create comments from our guests

  • Dan Slife

    We met Chris several years ago and love his work. We have 4 pieces getting MANY comments. Some others are doing this type of work now, but Chris is simply the best one.

  • Deborah Becht

    I purchased “Opposites Attract” last year. While I have a number of amazing art pieces purchased through Park West, my Chris DeRubeis is the one that gets the most attention and compliments. He is amazing and I would love to meet him.

  • Joshua

    HUGE Fan! I have 4 of his pieces. The one is very rare only 3 others exist like mine. Get lots of compliments from my friends/family/guests. Would love the opportunity to meet him in person.

  • Chris & Elisa Sheldon

    We also purchased “Opposites Attract” while on a cruise and just love the work of Chris DeRubeis.

  • Jim Collis

    Just home from a cruise and eagerly awaiting our 2 new DeRubeis pieces. Thanks Dylan and team for helping us with the easy sale..

  • Mary Rosenberg

    We just purchased an extreme piece and can’t wait for it to arrive! Such an amazing medium of art

  • Paulette & John

    We are HUGE fans of Chris’s work. We have 5 of his pieces and would be honored to one day meet Chris.

  • James Sneyd

    Have three pieces of the artist’s work. Would love to buy more.

  • James Sneyd

    Love Chris’s work. Always get compliments from visitors to our home for his works.

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