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Urban Ruben

Urban Ruben

Ruben Gerardo Ubiera Gonzalez (born October 19, 1975 in Santo Domingo,Dominican Republic) is a neo-figurative artist, known for his strong use of the line, graffiti inspired technique/esthetic, urban murals, mixed-media pieces and installations, all created with reclaimed-objects and found artifacts. He paints and draws in a style considered as Postgraffism, but he prefers to call it urban-pop, since he has lived most of his life in urban, populated areas and most of his inspiration is derived from the inter activity between man and his urban environment. At the age of 15, his family moved to the Bronx, NY, where he was heavily influenced by the graffiti art that surrounded him, something he wouldn’t realize until much later in his life.

Ubiera strives in all his work to capture an essential part of his past, his present and his subjects through the use of the line and form. His work includes still-life and situational portraiture but he tends to primarily focus on depicting his immediate urban surroundings and everyday complex human emotions using a strong and expressive line, a vivid graphic color contrast all while adding a mix of youth-angst and detailed complexity. All this executed on found objects, ALMOST NEVER CANVASES. Ubiera believes that his work has no frames, much like the everyday art that is developing on the streets.

“My work it’s an evolution from the urban art that we have accustomed to see on an everyday basis. Not graffiti. Postgraffism. Postgraffism is – if I may describe it, an new kind of urban art. An eloquent evolution of what’s happening on the streets with graffiti and the like. The beauty (or the perception of beauty) changes with time. It evolves. So does our appreciation for what is around us. I am a product of a generation who saw, at a young age, the change from public phones to the mini-computers we all carry and call cellular phones.

Postgraffism artists are the product of this new era: The neo-illustrators and designers that are experimenting with new mediums (and media) and have been influenced by graffiti, in one form or the other.In Post graffism Lettering no longer becomes the focus. Concept and technique, can control, are what’s key. Artists who are taking the new mediums to new plateaus (conceptually and graphically). I have never really vandalized,but I grew up surrounded by vandals, studying what they were doing, being influenced by it, by it’s “do it yourself” kind of attitude. Studying comics, animation, video-games and the like.

Just the fact that a spray can is a custom tool of trade, speaks volumes of how new and bold this movement is. After all, the spray can is a product of the 20th-21st century. A machine. And after graffiti: a marriage of man, soul and machine.I would sum it up as Postgraffism is the evolution of graffiti art as a whole - a more thought out, formal, planned an elevated realm of urban derived creativity and visual experimentation, in which concept tries to steal the show from the technique, thus, balancing the end result.”

Ubiera’s paintings are, on first examination, noted for being charged with“skateboard-isms”, paint drips and the constant presence of graffiti in some shape or form. But, after closer inspection, one notices the detail, sarcastic contrast, the social commentary and human struggle that’s felt by the technique and subject matter.


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