My name is Robert John “Robbie” Ierubino, Jr. I am a US-born, autistic artist who emigrated to Vienna, Austria, when I was 14 years old. In 2020, I graduated from Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, England, with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Graphics Design. I am currently studying for my Master of Arts degree in Arts and Creative Technologies.
As an artist, I have always liked creating different types of designs. When I was younger, I loved to create my own versions of album covers, stage layouts for concerts, and logos for movie production companies. In the 10th grade, I became interested in different art forms during my classes and travels around Europe. I was especially attracted to street art and cubism. As a real lover of pop culture, I am inspired by all media types, including television, movies, logos, and music. I enjoy traveling and exploring different cities and countries; their architecture and landscapes intrigue me.
I am autistic. Throughout my entire life, I faced many challenges that "typical" kids do not. It took me a long time to speak as a child, and communication is still difficult. Because of my autism, I struggle with verbal communication. Talking with people and writing my thoughts are difficult because it is hard for me to find the right words. Through my art, I feel free. I think autism has given me a unique perspective, and I hope that perspective comes through in my art. As my senses are always on high-alert, my understanding of the world around me maybe a bit different from others. For example, when I hear music, I see pictures in my head. Or, when I think of a movie, I can see it and listen to it playing in my mind. Sometimes, though, these constant bombardments are not welcome and may overwhelm me.
I use many different themes in my artwork: pop, abstract, cubic, symbolism, photography, silhouettes, and try to implement graphic design elements. Most of my art is about my life, sharing my visions, memories, emotions, and interests with the world. Most of my work is created using modern technologies like my phone and computer. I am continually searching for inspiration and ideas and use many different applications, depending on my mood. Like most people, I love always having my phone with me. I grab it whenever my surroundings inspire me. It allows me to capture a scene with photography, express myself in a poem or song, or even create some designs on the spot.
Looking back on my work, I noticed that shapes have always been a prominent feature. Repeatedly, these geometric shapes - often within other shapes - kept appearing. I love these shapes and have titled this style "Shapism." In my world, Shapism is a mix of figures creating a minimalist body in different metamorphic forms: color, image, tone, and typography. I like to provide clues into my thought process when naming pieces, but I also enjoy when viewers use their imagination to interpret their own meaning.
My works put a modern spin on the inspiration drawn from many different arts and designers throughout the history of art and creative styles. Through my artwork, I want people to learn to accept differences, sincerely feel and show empathy for others, share memories, find common interests, and treat others fairly.
I hope my works provoke an emotional response.
- Updated January 2021