Brooklyn based Tony “Rubin” Sjoman (b.1975) was nine years old when he wrote his first tag. The son of Finnish immigrant workers to Sweden, he was raised in a working class housing project 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.
Rubin has become a staple of the New York City street art scene, leaving his trademark on concrete and brick all over the world, from his native Scandinavia to Thailand and Miami Art Basel. His abstract and geometrical pieces are rooted in traditional graffiti but break the rules of the craft with its muted color palette and clean lines that echo is Scandanavian roots. 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, which is both inviting and evocative for the viewer.