Jorge Manes Rubio. TED Summit 2016, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Jorge Mañes Rubio is a sort of sociohistorical alchemist. When he travels, he absorbs what he sees and hears, and uses it as raw material to “reimagine what could be instead.” He graduated in Design Products from the Royal College of Art London in 2010, where he confirmed his indefatigable desire to travel beyond the usual scopes of design. In 2014 he obtained the prestigious TED fellowship and a year later the S&R Foundation Washington Award. Rubio has been a guest lecturer at several international conferences, his work is regularly exhibited in galleries, museums and art centers worldwide, and he’s currently artist in residence at the European Space Agency.

“My work explores the unseen. Forgotten places and stories inspire me to create artworks that reimagine and revive these sites as attention-worthy destinations, shining light on social, political or environmental issues from an alternative perspective. I want to challenge the notion of reality in our global society, questioning our perception of heritage, culture and consumption.”

“My practice revolves around research-driven methodologies and specific political-social interventions, creating fictional narratives, visual explorations and immersive installations, engaging with local resources and using different medias to achieve the greatest social impact with my work.”

“I’m interested in altering our notion of reality, mixing historical facts and data together with made up evidence and artefacts. I strongly believe that by reimagining the unseen or forgotten around us, we can build alternative worlds, and in this utopian process we will manage to see beyond our own limitations and articulate new social scenarios. When people stop discerning the boundaries between what’s possible and what’s not, that’s when the journey begins.”



“There is a nebulous factor that successful artists and Jorge Mañes Rubio have. This factor is a relentless, yet stylish, drive to accomplish something significant, to make a difference, to fulfil a vision—in a big way. It’s inexorable. Jorge recontextualizes the common and overlooked in our society and reveals it to us in a way that makes us know more about what we thought we already understood. And he does it with a warmth or humor that includes us—not excludes or demeans. There’s a compassionate, shared, embracing energy to his art. It draws us in, makes us more aware and more human.”              

Paul Klein, Klein Artist Works Chicago.