“I look for inspiration in the humanistic tradition of classical art. My canvases express the entire spectrum of human emotions from exhilaration and cheerfulness to contentment, melancholy, pain, and agony,” explains Rut (pronounced root), who now resides in Hollywood, Florida.
Encouraged by his mother, a painter herself, as a child Rut was introduced to the Pompeiien Frescos and the magnificence of the Renaissance and the Baroque, which today inspire his stunning oil on canvases and sweeping murals. These masterful illusionary works, both in scale and splendor, evoke the harmony and form of the master painters, including the flamboyance of Rubens, the finesse of Caravaggio, and the emotion of Michelangelo. Rut’s imaginary figures – centaurs, fauns, muses, and winged creatures – colorfully burst from the canvas with the grandiosity of Olympian Gods in active and dramatic poses.
“Rut’s mural size paintings are contemporary conversions of the classical vocabulary variously continued by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Rubens,” explains Dorothy Keane-White, Art Curator & Director for Northwood University. “In making them he returns us to antiquity by a double detour. First, he sets in motion the charming unreal apparatus of the Quattrocento mise-en-scene, and more importantly its heroic nudity, vigorous modeling, expressive anatomic structure, powerful movement and fascinating physiogamy. Tinged with sadness, his super-human youths play once more on Arcadian pipes – a motif also reprised by Matisse.
Alternatively, he offers us impossible delicate, gracile females — ‘still unravished bride(s) of quietness’ — delimiting them with sylvan togas and braided tresses. Nor does he leave rearing steeds, which in the grand manner represent humanity’s turbulent passions.”
Trained in Art Conservation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Rut continued his education in New York City at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and at Columbia University in Manhattan. He eventually took a job in art conservation for the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, traveling the east coast restoring large scale murals in museums and mansions for such clients as the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, DC, the New Jersey State House in Trenton, and the Gusman Center for the Arts and Vizcaya Museum in Miami.
It was during these travels he began to notice the void of high quality monumental figurative paintings from the past that one could purchase and invented a style that was aimed at filling this void. Here Rut created his aged style of cracked canvasses and murals that mimic so eloquently Italian frescoes and figurative oils. “The one element evident in all of my paintings is the superficial patina or aging,” which Rut creates with a variety of transparent and semitransparent glazes. This process creates the illusionistic and expressive beauty of each mythical figure.
“My paintings give people the ability to learn, respond, and feel comfortable with the classics,” Rut says. “This gives me enough satisfaction to keep working for a lifetime.”