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Brazilian Roots Provides Range of Influences

ghenovRubens Ghenov, assistant professor of painting and drawing, had a solo exhibition at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City in May 2016. His second show at the gallery, Accoutrements in Marwa, An Interlude in Sliver, continued to mine the unpublished work and meditative practice of Angélico Morandá, a fictional poet whose influence on the painter now spans five years.

“My work largely deals with translation, embodiment, and fiction,” says Ghenov, who was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and immigrated to the United States in 1989. He thinks of Brazil as “a true melting pot,” and attributes the global range of influences in his work and teaching to his Brazilian roots.

“In the classroom, what ends up happening is a fight against the whitened art history presented in the canon,” says Ghenov. “It is not only a fight against racist structures within academia and art history, but first and foremost a quest for truth.”

Ghenov recognizes many unique qualities about the painting and drawing program in the School of Art, but two help the school stand out.

“The School of Art does not hold a monolithic rigidity in terms of a school of thought,” says Ghenov. “Most schools would like to think of themselves in that manner, and rightfully so, but here, things are set up to work in a way that allows reinvention on a constant basis.”

The Artist-in-Residence program, according to Ghenov, is one of the most idiomatic things for students, faculty, and the artists themselves.

“The fact that students and faculty are able to work closely, relate thinking, and exchange ideas with a new person is quite genius,” says Ghenov. “The program brings an incredible diversity of minds and makers on a semester basis.”

Ghenov has shown nationally in both solo and group exhibitions including at Morgan Lehman Gallery, Geoffrey Young Gallery, TSA Brooklyn, Woodmere Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ghenov has been featured in Art in America, Village VoiceBomb Magazine, Title Magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

To read the entire interview, click here.

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