“I want to capture an unspoken language between our generation and the world of art” explains Ruben Ubiera. His language in “Urban Narrative” at 101/Exhibit in Miami consists of abstract, bold, bright, geometric shapes and lines combined with life-like depictions of gorillas.
“I have a clear use of the line and depict ideas in a very figurative and graphic way. It is also very conceptually driven. Each painting is a conversation starter, a catalyst for interactivity,” explains Ubiera and adds “My work is an urban narrative from my search for objects to turn into art, to the ideas and concepts. My observations always tell a story.”
As a South Florida artist Ubiera is inspired by the eclectic cultural mix of Miami. His Dominican heritage shapes his aesthetics and visual vocabulary and his experiences of life in New York and Miami add an urban point of view.
Ubiera’s work has made an impact on the Miami art scene via various exhibitions, murals and public art projects. Signed to the Michael Margulies Artist Agency he has a strong presence in the gallery world, he was voted “Street Artist of the Year” by the Miami New Times, has recently collaborated with the Museum of Contemporary Art and the North Miami Police Department on an installation and has created public art for the city of Pembroke Pines and Hollywood.
The gorilla has become a signature object in Ubiera’s work. It recurs in many different variations and was also the central element of the work in “Urban Narrative.” The artist conceptually developed the gorilla as a metaphor for the street art invasion of the gallery space.
“ It is the art that everyone is seeing on the streets, but no one wants to let it in. It's huge, strong, smart, witty, serious and funny at the same time. You may want to say that it's just brute force and vandalism, but there's more than meets the eye. It represents the art movement that it's currently shaping up in Wynwood at a local level and globally in so many other cities.”
Ubiera’s apes invaded 101/Exhibit for “Urban Narrative” in paintings and mixed media installations using repurposed materials such as spray cans, cardboard, newspaper and skateboards. Each object has a previous story that becomes part of the art work and the dialogue and part of the unspoken language that Ubiera uses in his continuous quest to “find beauty in the balance of form and line.”
Text by Heike Dempster
Photos by Robert Dempster