Tony “Rubin” Sjöman has become a staple of the street art scene of New York City and beyond. His abstract and geometrical pieces are rooted in traditional graffiti but break the rules of the craft with its muted color palette and Scandinavianly clean lines. The art book Rubin: New York / Scandinavia brings you inside his studio, into art galleries, and takes you on a journey to the streets of New York, marked by his large scale murals.
Rubin was nine years old when he wrote his first tag. The son of Finnish immigrant workers to Sweden he was raised in the working class housing projects of Bergsjön in Gothenburg, Sweden. Surrounded by grey concrete and tram tunnels, the walls whispered his name. He grabbed a spray can and set out on a journey that he’s still on today.
“Something happens when I press the cap and draw the first line of a piece. The expectation that takes hold of me is so strong that everything else around me ceases to exist.”
Rubin draws inspiration from his gritty upbringing, the tram tunnels where he first learned the craft and from the contrasts that have formed him into the artist he is today: the skyline of the hectic metropolis versus the serenity of the Nordic nature, all perfectly balanced in his art. With raw talent and relentless hard work Rubin has created a unique aesthetic that carries the art form beyond its boundaries.