who am i?

T drawing at Flax

Bio #1: Official

Trevor Tubelle is a San Francisco–based interdisciplinary artist working with hybrid forms of drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and performance. He has taught at Stanford Arts Institute (Honors in the Arts program), Stanford Continuing Studies, UC Santa Cruz, and elsewhere. His work is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tubelle received a BA in art from UC Berkeley and an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Bio #2: Honest

I like to make things, frequently drawings on paper, but increasingly other kinds of things. Truthfully, I don’t often know why I do what I do and I’m generally flying by the seat of my pants through life (shhhhhh, don’t tell my students!). The older I get the less sure I am of most things, especially art, people, and meaning (or the lack thereof). Also, my body seems to be falling apart at a rapid pace and my brain doesn’t seem to function very well anymore due to sleep deprivation and other tortures applied daily by small children (click on short-circuiting brain below).

UbiSketch2-BabyBrainRegardless of my middle-age entropy, I seem to keep making things and experimenting and generally fooling around with materials and ideas. At this moment (12:17pm, 5/31/13) I think my art practice is generally an attempt to find some modicum of insight or small clues into all the things that don’t make much sense to me (Dick Cheney, why my nose hairs are getting longer, fermented soybeans called Nattō, etc.) and to share anything I’ve learned with you.



Bio #3: Meandering

I am one of those foolish souls who as a kid, instead of wanting to be something manly and mildly impractical when I grew up (i.e., firefighter or astronaut), for some totally unfathomable reason decided I wanted to be the very unmanly and wildly impractical thing called an “artist”. Why, oh why, didn’t some intelligent adult sit me down around 1983 and say something like “you might want to think really hard about this whole artist thing, me boy, ‘cause that’ll mean devoting yourself to a life of continual annoyance, frustration, and poverty. You’ll never be able to afford enough of the good things, like black & white cookies, Disneyland, lazy days swimming in the pool, Star Wars toys, plane trips to NY Jewish delis to buy said cookies, plastic calculator watches, Converse High Top shoes, Atari consoles, etc.”

Maybe that would’ve given me pause (especially the dearth of black & white cookies). Well, sadly no one ever tried to deter me. In fact, everyone thought it was a great idea! (Sigh) So of course I decided to be an artist at age three or four and have never really considered doing anything else. Ever. Oy.

But wait! Not only am I an artist, I’m an “abstract-ish” (that word is just so… abstract) artist at that. Ugh. I mean really, am I masochistic, or what? What’s wrong with this picture (no art pun intended)? I have this freaky interest in “meaning” and how ambiguous life can feel sometimes and subtlety and nuance and the essence of things and multiple levels of interpretation and human connection and blahblahblah. It’s almost un-American, really. Or maybe it’s uber-American, I don’t know. It’s certainly not practical or manly (in the sense of doing an acceptable American male kind of activity like venture capitalism or football). At this point there’s nothing else I can do, really. I’m stuck with it. I’m highly trained, with years and years of experience, at one thing, and one thing only. So here I am almost 40 years later: a teacher, husband, father of two, and, most unsurprisingly, an artist.