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The Rubik’s cube’s popularity rose in the 1980s after it became widely available across the world. Not only has it entertained and educated generations of youngsters, it continues to challenge adults across the world. In fact, there are clubs and communities in most towns and cities across the world that are dedicated to learning and solving the cube.
In short, the Rubiks cube has had a profound impact on popular culture globally. This is evident in its representation in different kinds of art such as film, music, painting and graffiti, installations, and even architecture.
In this article, we take a quick look at how the Rubik’s cube has inspired artists across the spectrum.
The Rubik’s Cube in formal art
The Rubik’s cube spawned a generation of formal artists who eventually started their own school of art titled Rubikubism. In addition, the puzzle has inspired painters to create different works of art inspired by the cube. Saatchi Art, one of the most important figureheads of all things modern art has a collection of Rubik’s cube-inspired paintings on its online store. Examples include Seb Sweatman’s Rubik’s Cube and David Ditroi’s Rubik’s Cheese.
The Rubik’s Cube in music
A number of musicians have found inspiration in the Rubik’s cube, which can be witnessed either in the form of lyrics or music videos. From the Spice Girls’ Viva Forever to Genesis’ Land of Confusion, the puzzle has had a huge impact on various genres of music, including rock, pop, and hip hop. The Rubik’s cube often appears as a metaphor for complexities of life and sometimes as an allegory to human intelligence.
The Rubik’s Cube in film and TV
The Rubiks cube represents quick wit, life’s complexities, and sheer grit in films and TV series. A number of film directors and TV series producers have used the Rubiks cube as a prop in their scripts. The cube makes its presence felt in popular shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Rick and Morty. Films such as The Pursuit of Happyness and In a Better World feature the Rubik’s cube as part of their storylines.
The Rubik’s Cube in architecture
A number of buildings and edifices are inspired by the Rubik’s cube, specifically because of the minimalism it represents. Space-conscious architects have used the cube’s imagery and symbolism to create works of art in the form of buildings. Some of the best examples include The Children’s Gallery in Melbourne, Stuttgart City Library in Germany, and the Discovery Cube Orange County, US. The Hungarian government had intended to build a museum dedicated to the Rubik’s cube, shaped like the cube, but the project still has not taken off.
The Rubik’s Cube in advertisements
As the Rubik’s cube is massively popular and easily recognisable, creative directors at ad agencies have often used the puzzle in their copy. As a result, there are a number of print and video ads that feature the Rubik’s cube in order to make products more marketable. Some of the best advertisements that feature the beloved twisty puzzle include the McDonald’s campaign in India and the Citroën C1’s ad film. Check out more advertisements inspired by the cube here.
The influence of the Rubik’s Cube on sculptures
There have been many interesting sculptures inspired by the Rubik’s Cube as well. Most sculptors attempt to create Rubik’s cubes that are huge and attention-grabbing, while a few try to think out of the box. The Rubik’s Cube sculpture in Budapest is an example of a steampunk-inspired industrial sculpture, while the Giant Cube, often found in the Beyond Rubik’s Cube traveling exhibition, is an example of size-motivated sculpting.
The Rubik’s Cube is a remarkable pop culture icon
Certainly, this popular puzzle has inspired artists of all kinds across the world. This is due to the symbolism of this innocuous puzzle which continues to inspire generations of creative individuals. In addition to art and culture, the Rubiks cube has real-world applications in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. As a result, it is not far-fetched to say that the Rubik’s cube is a pop culture icon that has left a lasting impact not only in culture, but also in the fields of education and science.