INTERVIEW: Subi Roberto

By | March 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews

Miami-based artist Subi Roberto caught our eye with her recent mural series, “The Lightwalkers,” which address themes of human connectivity and reflection. Massive walls are painted with what looks like an infinite amount of mysterious faces staring out at the world, their foreheads adorned with mirrors. Subi is a force to be reckoned with – in the past two years she has singlehandedly completed two of these highly ambitious murals in the name of art, and we got a chance to speak with her via email.

Lets start with the basics: name, location, and technique of choice?

My name is Subi Roberto, I’m from Miami, and my technique of choice is what I know fits in the designated space the BEST. At the moment, it’s exterior paint with rollers.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from every experience that has shaped who I am as a person. Every artist does. It is the power of REFLECTION, the ability to take in energy and throw it back out into the world as art; is what makes a person an artist. Art is an outlet, an expression of the power of being human, and it can only come out if the wheels of inspiration are spinning fast enough.

Tell us about your recent large scale murals. How did these come about? Who are “The Lightwalkers”?

I realized after my first piece, which was 200 feet long by 17 feet tall, that it was just a warm-up for the second piece “We Are Lightwalkers” which is 120 feet long and 55 feet tall. Luckily Stein paints sponsored part of the project, but it still cost about $10,000 for everything. I had help from some very good friends, especially Antonio Whitenight who donated most of the money and secured the lift. Naeem Kahn for his mirror-plated plexi; which was extremely important for the sparkles on the third eye. And Eduardo De la Vega who donated his time and skill as my assistant when I needed him to be; an absolutely priceless contribution.

 How long did it take to complete the walls? Can you tell us about the process doing these massive pieces?

Both walls took just a little over two weeks. They were extreme feats of physical, mental and financial pressure. The shoulder on the big guy was definitely the most difficult part of the piece. When painting, especially at that size, my mind becomes so involved in the creative process that I’ll have to remind myself to drink water or eat something.

Do you have a preference, working on canvas or exterior walls?

Canvas vs. Exterior Walls? Both types of art are equally thrilling. Painting outside is amazing because of the human factor. People I’ve never met before stop and watch and congratulate and admire… which is something we artists strive for.

When someone comes to my studio and buys a piece of art, this is as equally fulfilling. It means that this person believes in you enough that they want you in their home and will follow you throughout your career. Adoration and respect; two key components to becoming a successful artist and keeping the dream alive!

Tell us about your creative process when making a piece, whether on canvas, on a monumental wall, or otherwise.

My process is all about going with the flow! Look at the space and breathe with it, hang out with it, let it speak to you. It’s all very bohemian/hippy sounding but that’s how I tackle large or complicated spaces.

What direction is your art going? What’s next for Subi?

Lots of meditation and painting are on the agenda for the next couple of months until the weather warms up. Then I’m off to New York to find wall(s) for my Operation Lightwalker. Fractured Atlas is a non-profit agency that gives artists a 501c3 tax status on certain projects that are artistic and charitable in nature. They have approved Operation Lightwalker where I’d be able to do 3 or 4 walls at the same time in different boroughs. This will take time, dedication, and focus like a laser beam. As the greatest teacher to humanity once said “Strive on. Diligently.” –The Buddha

We look forward to seeing more Lightwalkers appear on walls across the country…Thanks Subi!

Check her website to see more of her work!

-Alexis W.

Photos by Mitchell Zachs

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