WOT X CAS artist-in-residence interview: Izaak Lubin

By Connection Arts Space

(Supplied: Izaak Lubin)

Izaak Lubin was the second person who took part in Connection Arts Space’s joint residency program with the Way Over There Collective. Izaak is not your traditional artist, in fact, he barely identifies as one. In conversation with Connection Arts Space, he talks about identity, his budding practice, and how the completing the residency helped him gain confidence. 

To begin, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

Um, I really suck at doing this, because I don’t really see myself as an artist in a way. I grew up doing art…but mostly illegal art – I grew up doing graffiti.

I don’t know who introduced me to that, maybe my mum or something, but yeah I was really, really into graffiti, like super young, in primary school and stuff. I was always into regular art also, but I never did it properly or anything – it was just always graffiti. So I don’t really know any art theory, or any artists really, or genres of art and the different mediums. I don’t know what any of these things mean, I just kind of just do whatever. So I didn’t really see myself as someone who would exhibit in galleries or anything, or make any money off art or be looked at as an ‘artist’, you know? Like, I never thought I’d be interviewed about being an artist…or exhibiting in a gallery. So I guess it’s kind of hard to see myself as an artist, or someone that would we welcomed into the art world.

Okay so, my next question may not mean much to you then – but what mediums do you primarily work with?
Well, I don’t actually really know? It’s not even me being like an asshole, I actually don’t even know what to call it. But I use paint and ink on canvas, or I’ve done sculptures with ceramic stuff. I do a lot of airbrush and aerosol work – mostly everything is canvases.

As someone who doesn’t necessarily identify as an artist, why did you choose to apply for an artist in residency program?
Well, I knew people from WOT, and because I was doing a lot of art at the time, they were just like ‘this would be really sick for you’. So I was like ‘yeah, I’ll give it a shot’, and it was so cool. Because of this residency I’ve had 2 or 3 since then, like I’ve kind of actually worked on doing art.

A painting Izaak completed for a show he held late last year. He says that this painting is representative of his style now, as an artist — something he only began to explore during his residency.

That’s so cool. I guess an artist-in-residence program is really intensive – did it in any way change your approach to working on art?

Yeah, totally 100%. I used to do art just for fun – I do still do it for fun – but before the residency I always did it in my spare time. But having the studio space during the residency to do it – I couldn’t ever do it at home again. It’s like moving out of home or something, like once you move out of home you don’t want to move back in, you know what I mean?  

Do you have a particular style as an artist – how would you describe it?

Recently, yes. During the residency, I didn’t have one. Recently, I’ve wanted to be a lot more clean – doing a lot more straight edge stuff instead of like chaotic, really colourful works.

Izaak working on a painting during his residency

Interesting. So it changes?

What was the most valuable thing that you gained from the residency?

Probably confidence. Because like heaps of people came to the gallery opening night. So it was like, people who actually cared about these things, and I saw random people that I didn’t know standing and looking at my painting. And like for one of the paintings I literally just wrote all this stuff that was in my notes on my phone – I just wrote it all down. And then underneath it, I wrote the lyrics to Veronica’s song. And it was a huge painting, and I just wrote all this stuff with an airbrush, and there were old people looking at it just trying to figure out what it was. I just thought it was so funny.

You can find Izaak over on Instagram, at @izaakfolio.

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