Rebekah Rubalcava – It Hurts to Know

30 September - 30 October 2022

Seasons LA is pleased to present Rebekah Rubalcava: It Hurts to Know, the artist’s debut solo exhibition.


Born in 1996 to a devout Evangelical household in California, Rubalcava was raised in New Mexico by a family heavily involved in the Christian faith. Sin and the necessity of repentance were constant aspects of Rubalcava’s upbringing, as she was taught the virtues of purity, community, and the omnipresence of eternal damnation for those who strayed from the course. Like many young women, Rubalcava was raised with the perspective that puritan belief places upon the female experience, entering puberty with the knowledge that the feminine body is the source of temptation for the opposite sex. An exaggerated emphasis on feminine purity becomes the only way to prevent an unbecoming fate. Through her personal and formative experiences within female social structures, religious devotion, sexual exploitation, virginity, jealousy, temptation, and competition, she recognizes that Hell is always just around the corner.


In It Hurts to Know, Rubalcava’s figurative oil paintings grapple with these formative lessons about reality, exploring her experiences with puberty’s voracious emotional afflictions, her budding curiosities and philosophies, and her developing years through works which confront the relationship between the sensual, the absurd, and the provocative. Personally symbolic in nature, the pieces on view seep from the intrusive yet influential parts of her subconscious, gently divulging secrets of sexuality, rage, competition and social adversity within the feminine experience. Warring internally and externally while engaging with the hopes and fears from her religious upbringing, she traverses through themes of divine retribution, destiny, and devotion. The paintings are vulnerable and delicate, with feminist twists. Rubalcava dives into the serpent's coil of societal, social, religious and personal structures both abided by and rebelled against. She channels the inner rage felt within those confines, and the yearning to grapple at some semblance of heaven on earth. Rubalcava’s narrative practice explores herself and her subjects with sensitive sophistication, embracing inner truth no matter the consequence, revelations, or pain that come from the marriage of spirit and flesh. Although the weight of original sin may never be truly escaped, there is a sense of newfound liberation from eternal damnation — a reality of determined internal paradise. 


Rebekah Rubalcava (b. 1996, La Jolla) lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona. Recent exhibitions include Another Day in Paradise, Seasons LA, Los Angeles (2022); Damned If I Do, Gallery 46 Whitechapel, London (2022); and Two Sisters, Roman Road Gallery, London (2022).