With a background in critical theory and old master-style painting, I create installations where images rub shoulders with real objects and spaces. Photographs, prints and paintings bicker and make peace with walls, plants, furniture and other things—all clustered around the painted nude, perhaps the most poignant and problematic image of all. To me, representation is as much political as it is aesthetic. By engaging its various regimes, my work opens onto history, ideology, and semiotics—at a time when the Real is bubbling up in increasingly disturbing ways from beneath our aging image of the world.
Born in the frigid capital of a crumbling empire in January 1987, Phil Rabovsky grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. After receiving his B.A. in art, philosophy, and linguistics from Columbia University, he lived for a time in Budapest before resettling to New York City, where he completed his MFA in Art Practice at the School of Visual Art (SVA). Rabovsky is a member of Shoestring Press in Brooklyn, where he teaches classical painting techniques and has exhibited in two-person shows with printmaker Lane Sell. He has participated in group shows at Brooklyn and Manhattan-based galleries such as Shoestring Press, the Greenpoint Gallery, Friday Studio Gallery, Van Der Plas Gallery, and SVA’s Chelsea and Flatiron Galleries. His first solo show, Venticento, opened at Van Der Plas Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2018. Rabovsky is a frequent organizer of artist-led drawing circles, open critiques, and panel discussions. His work has been written about in Brooklyn Magazine and A Gathering of the Tribes, and featured in Tribes’ Word: An Anthology.