Artist Spotlight: Noah Rubel

“Present” the Puppet. Photo by Noah Ruel

Noah Rubel is a Vermont-raised artist attending Concordia University.

His practice started as a high school freshman, drawing digitally and on paper. Since 2018, he has explored various mediums, especially during his undergraduate career. 

Studying in Montreal, Noah works to understand the various cultures of his peers. Surrounded by a welcoming Latin and French community, Noah now takes inspiration from his fellow international students. Alternatively, he uses this time to understand his own Japanese identity and how to reclaim his family’s lineage through creation and research.

To see more of his work, check out @granoah_art on Instagram!

“Present” the Puppet. Photo by Noah Rubel

Artist Statement

“Present” the Puppet is a giant marionette made entirely of resourced wood and screw hooks. I found the wood and hooks in scrap piles and resource centres. All the pieces were sanded and rounded using woodworking tools and then assembled with screw hooks and wood glue. This piece takes inspiration from the adventures of Carlo Collodi’s wooden puppet, Pinocchio. Throughout the book, Pinnochio finds himself lost and helpless, abandoned almost by the cruelties of reality. While many consequences are a by-product of his delinquent nature, plenty of punishments he faces are undeserved. As the world abandoned Pinocchio, Montreal abandoned this scrap wood.  I wanted to reclaim the wood in this city and give it a purpose, in this case, as a marionette. I gave the puppet the name “Present” because he is a gift. He gave the wood a purpose but also gave something to me. Plenty of objects have personal value, and my piece investigates the value in everything. Living or not, what do we choose to care about? What values do we assign to things? The value I hold in “Present” is a present in itself, since, for any object, the ability to exist is beautiful. 

“Present” the Puppet. Photo by Noah Ruel
“Present” the Puppet. Photo by Noah Ruel

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