Houben R.T is an Avant-garde painter and draftsman with his own unmistakable voice. Houben was born in Bulgaria and graduated with a degree in painting from the Conservative Art Academy in the capital, Sofia. During that time he was part of the Radical art movement around XXL gallery. Although his installations and videos were met with considerable critical success in Europe, he decided to abandon this technique due to its excessive "predictability".
In order to advance his carrier Houben relocated to the US in 2000 where he now lives and works in his studio in Brooklyn, New York. He has exhibited his signature highly impasto, money based paintings, and glitter works in Boston, Miami, and New York. After several museum shows the young artist has created quite a stunning reputation among art dealers and collectors alike.
While becoming the established painter he is today, Houben supported himself by doing odd jobs in the city. In 2002 he was commissioned to
create the murals for the eponymous Delmonico's Restaurant on Wall Street in Manhattan, NY as well as the restaurant/bar Ono in the hip new Gansevoort hotel in New York's Meatpacking District.
Houben has a unique approach to art-making. He maintains an alchemist’s attitude towards painting by creating pigments which he grinds himself; a process he undergoes in homage to raw color and its intrinsic impact. The subject matter for his paintings is derived from old currencies and coins from the US and other countries around the world. His artistic style at once draws upon Romanticism and Symbolism but is thoroughly Postmodernist in its bravado. Houben’s paintings are about the foundation of a society in relation to its history and propaganda. His use of heavy impasto and of a vivid, saturated color palette is sometimes viewed as commentary on excess. His frequent depictions of Native Americans speaks to his earliest impressions of America, but the budding artist was also influenced by early European Romantics and later by Eastern Germany's western films.