Rubenimichi are three bodies in one soul that have become one of the most original artistic proposals in Spain. They started in 1996, when Michi and Rubén met and started a pictorial project that hasn’t stopped growing in sixteen years. Luisjo joined them in 2002. Rubenimich are now showing his work at MUTT Barcelona. It is call Sobrenatural and there is no way you can miss it. We have interviewed him.
You have shown your work in California, Rome and Madrid and shared space with artists such as Tara McPherson and Mark Ryden. Why did it take you son long to come to Barcelona?
We’ve always wanted to show our work in Barcelona, and thanks to Juanjo from MUTT now we’re able to do so. Nobody had proposed us a solo exhibition, so we’re very grateful to Juanjo for his unconditional trust in us.
Sobrenatural features real and fictional characters. Where do they come from?
They are imaginary characters who live in a supernatural forest. We sometimes portrait real characters because we like them or see something special in the. We always adapt them to the Rubenimichi universe by adding a halo of mystery and magic and creating a sort of clip from an imaginary film where we let viewers create their own story.
You were two at first and now you’re three. Is this the Magic Number, as the Jackson 5 said?
The number three is a magical number. For many, it’s the number of perfection, for science, for nature and for classic philosophy. It is not something we’ve deliberately pursued, but we love everything that comes in threes?
How do six hands work together?
It’s easy for us. It’s the most comfortable way of working we can think of. We work together in all the creative phases: the original idea, the sketch and even the frame choice. We’ve been working together for so long, living together, travelling together, and sharing almost everything that we feel like we’re one person when it comes to start a new project.
Three artists in one soul? What are your influences?
Everything around us: nature, trees, animals, the human beings and the relationships between them. As far as art goes, we identify with Flamish paintings from the 15th and 16thcenturies, the pre-Rafaelists, the Romantic movement, last century’s vanguards, magic realism and the symbolists.
What about modern artista?
We like lowbrow artists: Mark Ryden, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Camile Rose Garcia, Marion Peck and Alex Gross.
What are you working on now?
We’re finishing some pending orders and investigating more on the basis of Sobrenatural. We’re also created a publishing house to release a book called Ahora mismo, además de terminar encargos que tenemos pendientes, seguimos investigando Danza Macabra, a compilation of illustrations by Spanish artists based on Spanish pagan celebrations. The book features David Méndez Alonso, Sergio Mora, Catalina Estrada, Paco Alcazar, Ricardo Cavolo and many more. We’re also working on a book compiling our work.
Your favourite TV series ever is Twin Peaks. Any others you like?
Twin Peaks is a referent for the aesthetics, the mystery, the dialogues. We also like Hit and Miss with Chloë Sevigny, American Horror History and Big Love.
Your favourite hotspots?
The Ethiopian restaurant Nuria (/Manuela Malasana, 6 ), the Cuban restaurant Zara (C/Infantas, 5). The stores Sportivo (C/Conde Duque, 20), Mini (C/Limón, 24), Do (C/Fernando VI, 13), Panta Rhei (C/ Hernán Cortés, 7), La Central (C/ Postigo de San Martín, 8). At night we love Nasti and the Galician bar across the street. The Botanical Garden is great to go for a walk.And Malasaña in general. There’s always someting to see?
You never thought you’d end up?
The truth is that we’re not surprised at seeing what we’re doing?
Nothing at all? Oh well, maybe bad manners and bad taste.
You can’t stop listening to?
Vainica Doble, always; Ana D, Krafwerk, Lorena Álvarez, Beach House, Chromatics, Broadcast. And Michi’s songs with his ukelele.
Always do what you want to do.