Benefit v.14 Stand-out Emerging Artist: Robert Darabos
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The Benefit v.14 Young Professionals Party, a high-profile preview cocktail reception and networking event, takes place on Friday, 6 – 10 pm at Crane Arts. In honor of the preview event, we’re highlighting up-and-coming artists who have donated to this year’s Benefit.
Robert Darabos dabbles in the eternal circle. He hopes to expand his geometric experimentation with a solo show at Pii Gallery, fueled by an ongoing Kickstarter campaign.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I currently live in Philadelphia in University City. I moved here about eight months ago with my wife from a small town in Michigan. I lived there my whole life, so after finally graduating and receiving my Bachelor’s in Art from Saginaw Valley State University, I decided it was time to move on and move to a big city. I got accepted into the graduate program at University of the Arts and moved here a couple of weeks after receiving my Bachelor’s degree.
You have a Kickstarter campaign going. Can you give me some info about that project, and what the funding will be going towards?
The Kickstarter campaign I have right now is to help raise some funds for an art show at the Pii Gallery here in Philadelphia. As many artists know, framing can get quite expensive, so I hope the campaign will help with some of them expenses.
Your work has been featured in some international exhibits – can you tell me about those?
I have been fortunate to have some of my work shown overseas in countries like Japan, China, Cyprus, England, and Wales, as well as closer in Canada, Colombia and Mexico. Most of the art that I had shown were printmaking pieces that were much more narrative compared to the abstract and minimalist pieces I work on now. A few of the museums, such as ones in Japan, Malaysia, and Wales, entered the art in to their permanent collections.
Why does the circle feature so prominently in your pieces?
The circle is a very interesting and spiritual shape that appears in cultures throughout the world. I have worked with circles on and off throughout the last eight years or so, but haven’t seriously investigated it until being encouraged to do so in graduate school. I like the idea of it representing the eternal, yet is ironic in that it must exist in a finite form because of its own restrictions and limitations.
I became most interested in the circle through the ancient Greek philosopher Xenophanes who said “Being homogenous throughout, he [God] is spherical in form.” I have opted his sphere to my circle, but I think a lot of the ideas are still retained.
Do you have any upcoming exhibits?
I have three of my pieces of art in the “Excellence in Printmaking” exhibition at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in D.C. I am also discussing the possibilities of a solo show at the Pii Gallery here in Philadelphia, showing some of my new works that I have been concentrating on.
Tell me about the piece you’ve donated to the Benefit.
The piece of art that I donated to the benefit I created a few months ago. It is a very different approach to art for me, as I’ve never worked in collage before, but I have been very satisfied with the outcome and progress of the series of art. This particular piece consists of two triangles in red and yellow on top of one another, separated by another triangle of opposing color. It makes an interesting optical effect that is thought-provoking and can be slightly overwhelming.
What are you looking forward to most about the event?
Being new to the city, I am most excited to see more of the Philadelphia art scene, and to meet and mingle with some of the other artists and participants.
You can find Robert’s work up for auction as part of Benefit v.14.