Born in Mobile, Alabama and raised in Houston, Texas, Jim Rabby played with paints in the back room of his parent’s art supply and interior decorating store. Rabby had a vision when he was eight years old of a sculptor painting and recognized himself in that image. Jim Rabby said that he never consciously decided to become an artist, yet always had the desire to paint. He attended the University of Houston, paying for his education with revenues from the paintings he sold, and majored in Economics. Rabby developed a flare for business and, after graduating, opened a gallery in Houston. Inspired by Picasso whom he said lived in "voracious curiosity," Jim Rabby experimented with many styles and media, from body painting to portraying sporting events.
Movement has been an unrelenting theme in all of his work as it has throughout his life. At one year of age, he was diagnosed with polio. "I had to face life and death issues at all early age," Jim Rabby said. "So I'm just happy with the dynamics of being able to show up." Suddenly his recurring statement about showing up echoed with new meaning. It seemed to embody a way of life that Rabby embraced-that everything is possible in life if you are open to experiencing it, and it suggested movement toward something, which implied growth and expansion. "My skills are the spontaneous vehicle of my intention," Rabby says.
Sometimes his body is still, but never his imagination. Jim Rabby is a consummate fine art painter, whose art work cuts across all boundaries, with intertwining color, movement and texture. His paintings reflect the sensitive, yet expansive philosophy he infuses not only in his work, but in everyone with whom Rabby comes in contact. Painting since the tender age of 13, Jim Rabby has spent more than 30 years with brush and palette knife in his hands. He uses these tools to let his spirit, and yours, soar through fine art. Rabby’s works have captured the attention of world-class art aficionados-Texas millionaire and art buff H.L. Hunt, former Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid, famed heart surgeon Dr. Dennis Cooley, billionaire Ross Perot, tennis greats Jimmy Connors and Rod Laver, entertainer extraordinaire Johnny Carson and former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. Rabby’s modern, contemporary artwork is at once outrageous, insightful, playful, thoughtful, creative, passionate, original, imaginative, unassuming, resourceful, courageous and charming; it is no wonder Jim Rabby has captured the hearts of collectors throughout the world.
Jim Rabby shifts back and forth between painting abstracts and landscapes. Landscape or abstract, Jim's paintings exude a sense of sensuality which he intends as an appeal to the senses. Many of his titles play with that intention: Voracious Love, Ravenous Flutter, Abstract with Tongue and Cerulean Ecstasy. -"Sensuality correlates with space," Rabby said. "It's like the feeling you get when you walk into an open, light room." He recently completed one of his abstract totems or icons titled,-Totem to the Possibility of Vaporizing. Asked to explain the meaning of the title, Rabby said, "Vaporizing would be an ultimate experience, moving in and out of planes at will. It's another way of moving to a space of pure light."
Rabby’s studio also makes the frames for his original, highly textured fine art paintings. Adhering to the old business motto "the customer comes first," he will go out of his way to accommodate someone who may prefer a silver frame to the wood one that he selected. He recalled the time a buyer wanted wall hangers placed in both vertical and horizontal positions on the back of the painting so that he could hang it either way. Where some artists would take offense, Rabby took it in stride. "I'm just the guy who shows up remember. My paintings are wide open. The viewer is free to create them vicariously himself."
Ask Jim Rabby to describe his work and he describes himself, "I'm really a performance artist; I create in the moment." Artistry is an act Jim Rabby has been "performing" for thirty years, and at 43 that's a lot of time spent in front of the easel. Rabby has developed a modern fine art style that embodies his personality in art. The response to his contemporary, abstract, and often impressionistic original oil paintings has been as positive as to the artist painting them. "My paintings are kinetic, vibrant," Jim Rabby says about his art work. He lives as he paints: with gusto and aliveness—and it is the continual wonderment about the world that gives him his inspiration. It is a reflection of his incredible excitement about being alive that gives rise to what have become known as Rabby-isms: "Creativity is a vehicle of curiosity."