Photo Booth Confessional w/ Reuben Looyenga

Posted by Drake, April 25, 2017

Get to know the people of The Drake in a new series we're calling Photo Booth Confessional. Through the hustle and bustle of it all, we're taking time to get a snapshot of all of the vibrant personalities that make up the Drake fam and passing along a question for the next Draker in our own version of the classic telephone game.


Drake One Fifty is adorned with art in every corner, and by now you may have gotten to know the colourful work of Kristen Schiele, Wendy White, and Michael Vickers from the FOMO exhibit but there's one more artist you should familiarize yourself with. Reuben Looyenga is a server at Drake One Fifty and a talented artist whose current collection, Invisible Cities, pops in greyscale and beyond. Get to know Reuben in a lightning round of questions, starting with a Q from our last Photobooth Confessional with Keimar Russell!

What's the one time you've been the most vulnerable?
I’m sure it would be hard to beat the moment I was born…

How and when did you discover your artistic side?
I’ve always been creative, but honed into the academic side of being an artist while working on my MFA degree.

How would you describe your art to someone who’s never seen it before?
My work consists of abstract landscape painting and drawing that uses generative design to develop the final image. For the series of drawings currently on exhibit at Elaine Fleck Gallery, each piece was created by crumpling paper and then tracing the crease lines. From the simple action of crumpling paper, complex design can be highlighted.

What is this show about?
The show is an exhibition of represented artists of the Elaine Feck Gallery; Kathy Kissik, James Maxwell and myself. The harmony of the show’s aesthetic is in the balance of geometric and natural shapes, form and material.

What’s your secret to managing an art career and your career at The Drake?
It takes a dedicated work ethic. I’m a bit of a work obsessed individual and fortunately find the production of my work quite fulfilling and meditative, which makes putting in the hours needed to draw or paint a pleasure.

How does working among art at The Drake make you feel?
I feel that art exhibited in the “living space” of all the Drake properties is important in that it challenges the notion of art being experienced solely within a gallery space. I obviously believe that the gallery is crucial in providing visual fine art to the public, but fine art should also provide innovative approaches to public spaces as well.

What is your favourite Drake Art piece or artist?
I found the Douglas Coupland piece, “Universal Luggage Bar Code Sunset: Vancouver to Toronto” featured at Drake One Fifty when the restaurant first opened to be quite special. I think that I identified with the work in it being an abstract landscape, and I believe it was one of Coupland’s premier fine art pieces and a special treat for Drake One Fifty. Balint Zsako’s mural that was featured at the Drake Hotel Sky Yard was an incredible piece. I also immensely enjoy the work of Team Macho featured at the Devonshire.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m excited to get feedback from the show and discuss creative approaches to the art making process.

What is your idea of a perfect day off?
Taking time to enjoy small moments.

Which living person do you most admire?
I can’t say that I admire a single one person the most. I admire anyone who is able to do what they love and do it well.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Time is the greatest luxury. Spending a sunny afternoon in a park is about as good as it gets.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I think it’s words that I don’t say that tend to be more of a problem.

What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my books.

What is your motto?
I suppose I strive to work hard and be a good a person.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Laziness, arrogance, ignorance.

What is your greatest fear?

What do you most value in your friends?
I think support and dependability are paramount to a friendship.

If you could ask anyone at The Drake anything, what would you ask?
If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Reuben Looyenga is currently showing his work @ Elaine Fleck Gallery.

Reuben Looyenga Art

Posted in: People

Tags: art  drake one fifty