Cuttings and Concrete


I’m an artist. My work involves creating an image by building up layers of multi-colored cardboard, piled one atop another. Each layer is cut out, revealing the colors of the layers beneath.



I work in construction, but was trained as an architect. So I plan, and model and fail, and plan better, fail better, and plan again. When I have something that looks as good as my mind’s eye can see it, I set about building it, the same way a contractor executes an architect’s design.

I cut away the unnecessary. I cut away the obstructive. I cut away what needs to be cut away to reveal what lies beneath. I’m the piece’s therapist. It talks to me. I counter transfer my emotions back into it.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

When viewed up close or off axis, the images appear disjointed and abstract.  At a distance, or slightly blurred, they take on an uncanny third dimension and read with photographic realism. Change your point of view and you change the world.

What is Man? Man is his perspective.


I’m fascinated with concrete as a metaphor for the human experience. While capable of tremendous elegance and strength it’s often practical and cold, and although it can take enormous compressive stress, it cracks easily under tension.

"We Are Concrete" by Robert Rainone | Concrete and Tea LightLike children, concrete is impressionable. Its adult beauty or ugliness often comes from how it was treated while it was still forming. Like most adults it gets smoother and darker and scarred as it ages. But, even when it cracks its strength remains.

“One small crack doesn’t mean you’re broken. It means you were put to the test and didn’t fall apart.” – Linda Poindexter.

As a material to work with, it’s unforgiving. Once cast it can only painfully and painstakingly be reshaped.

I began casting concrete while still in college. I can’t stop. It’s heaviness and permanence is seductive. This is the stuff that real buildings are made of – and I’m using it to express elegance and beauty behind a cold strength. Yeah I’m rough. Yeah I’m distant. But I’m beautiful too. Casting concrete that makes someone say, “Holy shit that’s beautiful!” gives me hope that they might just notice the same in me.

“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.” – unknown

What is man? Man is what he notices.


Robert Rainone descended from rum runners and horse thieves, studied architecture in college, and went on to work in construction. Although the creativity engine he refined during his education resents idleness it’s rarely used in his career. Art like this is what happens when he lets that engine rip.


1999: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, NJ

Bachelor of Architecture

Work Experience

2013: Out of the Box Software, LLC – Construction Software

Fairview, NJ


2011: Rainone Safety Consulting, LLC – Site Safety Management

Fairview, NJ


2011: Marson Contracting Co., Inc. – General Contractor

Bronx, NY

Project Manager/Mortar

2006-2011: Marketing – Designed, developed and implemented various marketing tools and give-aways, including Marson branded toilet paper, Marson branded build-it-yourself Lego business card holders and Marson’s exclusive one of a kind “Change Order Destroyers”. In addition, performed the concept development of various other marketing programs, exhibits, and graphics necessary for tshirts, brochures, websites, and proposals.

2008-2011: Database Development – Planned for, designed, and worked with a technical consultant to build out, from-scratch, software to create, manage, track, and report on, various elements of project management and accounting. Daily logs, permits, change orders, budgets, etc. are kept in one web-based SQL database with integrated reporting.

2001-2007: Project Manager – Duties included coordinating all the information on the project, creating, tracking, and keeping all contracts, subcontracts, insurance, permits, etc. in  addition  to coordinating contract documents for bid proposals, and assisting with the day-to-day management of subcontractors.

2001-2007: York Hunter Construction, Inc.

New York, NY

Assistant Project Manager

1999-2000: AssistantProjectManager – Duties included issuing and tracking requests for information, everyday coordination of contractor paperwork and assisting the project superintendent in overseeing contractor work and in maintaining the field office.


2010: Cuttings

Model building in two dimensions – This work consists of building up a photo-realistic image using layers of multi-colored cardboard, piled one atop another. Each layer is cut out to reveal the color of the shades beneath. When viewed up close or off axis, the images appear disjointed and abstract. At a distance, or slightly blurred, they take on an uncanny third dimension considering that they aren’t photographs, nor paintings. They’re cuttings.

 1997: Concrete

Cast concrete as the artist metaphor – This work consists of building one-time use molds out of foam and paper that get destroyed when the cast is demolded. Each piece is imagined as a perfect crystal of concrete and then designed as if growing imperfectly in response to its function or surrounding environment.