Dima Rebus (born June 2, 1988) — Russian contemporary artist. Founder of the individual genre and the homonymous interactive universe of Underground Aquarellka, which focuses on the biology of human behavior and the evolution of its everyday norms.
Born on June, 2, 1988 in Naberezhnye Chelny (Russia). He started drawing at a young age. Being a schoolboy Rebus was interested in street art, making graffiti on the walls of his native town. He entered Moscow Art and Industry Institute at the faculty of graphic design at the age of seventeen. While studying at the Institute, he began to work as an Illustrator. The artist collaborated with TV channels: “National Geographic Channel”, “Canal +”, magazines: “Esquire”, “GQ”, “Psychologies”, “Snob”, and many others. He also made Illustrations for the author's column in “Total Football” magazine for several years. In 2012 he illustrated the series of books “Andersen's Fabulous Rebus”.
The first personal exhibition by Dima Rebus “The Schtick is in Dementia” was organized in CCI Fabrika, Moscow in 2011.
In 2014 through the parallel programme of the European Biennale of contemporary art “Manifesta 10” Dima Rebus took part in the exhibition Casus Pacis / Motive for Peace in Street Art Museum (St. Petersburg), dedicated to the establishment of relations between Russia and Ukraine. He was a participant in the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art in the same year, took part in the exhibition “Insomnia”, organized by the Skriabin Memorial Museum. At the end of 2014 in Brussels (Belgium) held a solo exhibition in the space of YawnArt (Artwin Gallery).
In 2016, he participated in the 5th international Biennale of young art with the project “Good Deal”. Rebus was provided with the building on the Trekhgornaya manufactory as an object for street art formation. The facade of this building was ‘packed’ in painted polythene film, thereby turning it into a tray with finished products and goods. There was an inscription on the label of this art object: “100% lean”. Since street art was a spontaneous creation in the conditions of the city, it had become an oxymoron within the Biennale and exhibitions.
In 2017, he was invited by the Goethe-Institut (Berlin) for participation in the exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in the Street Art Museum (St. Petersburg). Rebus presented the project “Life Goes on” as a part of the exhibition. The wall consisted of hundreds of barrels of oil with faces on them, and formed a revolutionary crowd. A year after, the Museum painted out this work, making space for a new one project. According to the author, the crowd decomposed as well as all events of the past — revolutions happened and passed, and life proceeded.
Often well-known scientific phenomena and facts are projected with elements of involuntary mysticism in Rebus’s works. Life in the Universe of Underground Aquarellka covered with comic situations, that full of uncertainty and fear at the same time. Through the heroes of this Universe, the special focus is on the biology of human behavior and the evolution of its everyday norms.
Majority of the works Rebus creates in watercolor technique. Inspire of working mainly with large formats (2 meters and more), it is possible for the author to create detailed pictures. Playing with such opposites as realistic, abstract and cartoon painting, combining scrupulous technique with involuntary blurring of watercolor pigment, Rebus draws an analogy with man-made construction in the natural landscape.
The Universe of Underground Aquarellka is inhabited by many characters, but it has two main characters: Mr. Rebus and Eden.
Mr. Rebus — a fictional character, created by Dima Rebus in 2007 and is partly based on the appearance of the artist's father. Hypertrophied red ears, nose and hands, pale complexion also make it look like a mime. The character is a key figure in the work of the artist. His black eyes present the entrance to the interactive Universe of Underground Aquarellka. He has the function of the administrator and is a primary dealer for the sale of “guiding star” (the charges for a flare gun). The light of the guiding star illuminates the events taking place inside the Universe. Mr. Rebus comes into contact with a character named Eden (Eden), living in his black eyes.
Eden is a fictional character, it doesn't have an appearance (for the audience) because of being in complete darkness. The audience is able to see only his translucent eyes and a number of butterflies (dust of the guiding star), that help him to navigate. Eden’s eyes are easy to find in the characters depicted in Dima Rebus’s paintings.