“I’m an artist, and if you give me a tuba, I’ll bring you something out of it.” – John Lennon
Artists, by definition, are creative people, but is there anything more creative than starting a new art form altogether? I get excited when people use items not as intended to make something distinctive and original.
Mosaic art is nothing new, dating back at least 4,000 years ago to Ancient Mesopotamia. They used various materials like shells, stone, and ivory to create imagery. However, using a Rubik’s Cube as the medium for mosaic art is most definitely a recent innovation. The Rubik’s Cube itself is even less than 50 years old. It’s a moveable art piece, developed by Erno Rubik, an architect and professor from Budapest, Hungary. He wanted to show his students how to manipulate objects in 3D, but had no idea his invention would become a global phenomenon.
I scroll through #FilipinoArtist a lot on Instagram to see what people are working on, and recently found something truly unexpected. A portrait of gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz constructed from a massive collection Rubik's cubes.
(Source: Instagram @myalterengo11)
I was so interested in this for many reasons, one being that I'm not very good at solving Rubik’s cubes, so the idea of manipulating them to this accuracy blew my mind. I reached out to Jeffrey Doria (@myalterego11) to ask him about how he got into this craft.
Jeffrey began with traditional illustration in college, really enjoying visual arts. He's also an avid toy collector, including Rubik's Cubes. Once he learned about this new concept, he knew he had to merge his two passions. He discovered this art form shortly before the Covid-19 global pandemic began, so it was a good time to get hooked on a new hobby. After an investment of 100 cubes, he set out on his new artistic journey.
Now armed with more than 400 cubes, Jeffrey is really catching his stride. I asked Jeffrey what's the most difficult part about this art form. As one would imagine, he said assigning the colors to match the source photograph is very hard because you have six colors or less to work with.
He must use trial and error to make the design not only recognizable, but choose the most aesthetic color pattern. The preparation takes about 2 weeks before assembly. After the layout is ready, it takes about 7-8 hours to assemble the Rubik’s Cubes and place them in their proper position.
I asked Jeffrey what purpose does this art form serve in his life. He said,
“There’s a burning desire inside of me. Every portrait that I made, I felt a different satisfaction. I know I won't get tired of doing these portraits. Solving Rubik’s Cubes is my passion and it’s in my blood.”
Jeffrey's personal favorite is his 100th piece, a portrait he made of Jesus Christ. He spent a great deal of time getting the layout just right to convey the desired emotions with the use of only five colors.
Having been featured on various television programs already, Jeffrey feels he's only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what he can do with Rubik's Cube art. He someday hopes to be an ambassador for a Rubik’s Cube company and have more opportunities to display his work to the public.
If you would like to keep up with Jeffrey Doria and his artwork, You can follow him at:
Written by: Mike Wietecha
2 - https://www.rubiks.com/en-us/about