“Beth Consetta Rubel: Higher Learning: Educational Toys”

Race in America is both hard and soft. Sometimes we want it diluted to nonexistence. Other times we want it solid and unavoidable. Is it a social construct or a legitimate distinction? That ambivalence is central to Beth Consetta Rubel’s “Higher Learning: Educational Toys.” A series of colored pencil portraits features influential African-Americans including Hattie McDaniel, Prince, Snoop Dogg, and President Obama. Each of the portraits is made on a brown paper bag, suggesting the fragility of paper, the temporality of trash, and the mundanity of low-end consumerism. It is a poignant choice when dealing with such powerful personalities. Obama’s mouth is agape, sucking on a giant pink ice cream scoop. This, along with Rubel’s fluid, illustrative drawing style, make it a personable caricature, an effect emphasized by the texture of the bag, most notable in the seam that bisects Obama’s face. The seam echoes the crack in the famous

Read more at: https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2017-06-09/beth-consetta-rubel-higher-learning-educational-toys/