From experimenting and creating his own childhood toys, to starting his own business- Second Glance Mosaics, owned by local artist Reagan Rubain boasts amazing, vibrant mosaic creations throughout the cities of Cape Town, Tshwane and Johannesburg. These mosaic creations are not only innovative and fascinating, they also give a majestic appearance to the facades and the public surfaces they bedeck.
Reagan was raised by his mother and grandparents and always dreamed of a better life. “I grew up very poor”, says Reagan. “I always told myself I want to become something one day to help my community and my family.” Reagan applied at the Spier Arts Academy in Cape Town for a career in art, where after three years he graduated and jumpstarted his artistic career.
His mosaic masterpieces enchant a great historical and artistic value of South Africa’s diverse culture. His mosaics are elaborate, colourful and masterfully executed, made out of ceramic tiles of different shapes, sizes, and colors or any waste materials that he can find.
Reagan makes use of MAPEI’s Adesilex P9, which is a high-performance cementitious tile adhesive with no vertical slip and extended open time for ceramic, porcelain and mosaic materials. Adesilex P9 is a grey or white powder composed of cement, fine-grade, synthetic resins and special admixtures formulated in the MAPEI R&D Laboratories. Mixed with water, Adesilex P9 becomes an easily trowelable mortar with high bond strength.
One of the most iconic pieces that Reagan was involved in, is the mosaic mural found at the Tshwane Presidential House. This almost 500m² project happened in 2016 in Gauteng province, when Reagan was approached alongside many other artists to create this mammoth work of art. “This is probably my most exciting project by far as I experienced Johannesburg personally, made loads of friends and although I was contracted as a normal working artist, I was soon approached and asked if I would like to lead the team by being the project manager. I will never forget the experience”, adds Reagan.
The Ocean View project was one of Reagan’s most frustrating pieces, located in his hometown in Cape Town. This mosaic project was initiated out of his own limited budget with under resourced materials. People refused to help him and he sacrificed his employment and other forms of income to complete this project. His calls for help eventually reaped reward when a few good samaritans raised some funds to assist with the completion. “This project pulls on my heart strings everyday, it was definitely one of the toughest and most frustrating experiences in my art career ”, says Reagan.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Reagan recently commenced with a mosaic piece of the National Springbok team winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup, he completed it seven weeks later. “If I make it out alive, this piece will always remind me of this pandemic, the horrors and the triumph of the human spirit”, says Reagan.
It is a privilege for MAPEI South Africa to be associated with such a talented local entrepreneur. We look forward seeing Mr Rubain’s future long-living creations!