Ruben Ubiera

The Tower
East or West?

Ruben Gerardo Ubiera Gonzalez (born October 19, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican neo-figurative artist, known for his strong use of the line, who has been drawing and painting ever since he had use of reason.
Ruben paints and draws in a style considered by many as Pop-surrealism, but he prefers to call it urban-pop, since he has lived most of his life in the urban, populated areas and most of his inspiration is derived from the interactivity between man and his urban environment. At the age of 15, his family moved to the Bronx, NY, where he was heavily influencedby the grafitti art that surrounded him, something he wouldn't realize until muchlater in his life. After a year of absorbing the urban landscape, he went back to the Dominican Republic for another year, until finally finishing his high school studies at Salem High School, in Salem, MA.
He 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 Ruben tends to primarily focus oncity landscapes.
His paintings are, on first examination, noted for being charged with "skateboard- isms", paint drips and the constant presence of grafitti 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.
"I love art. Grafitti, typography, photography, print... the medium does not matter. If the message and the concept are strong, the final end result will always be strong. The key is to find the medium that will complement the concept. I like to paint on wood and found objects. They carry a rustic appeal that I find to be beautiful. Mixing graphic design on printed pieces with brightly colored paint onto old, worn objects, makes the final art look antiquated, decayed and very interesting to the eye and to the touch. I paint what I see, what surrounds me. The fact that I skateboard everyday keeps me close to the streets, the cosmopolitan city with all of its wonders and aberrations, the life of a Latino in the United States, and any piece of popular culture that comes to mind. I also love using collages to describe people and the history that got them to where they are today, the mix of hard graphic shapes, typographic elements with anthropomorphic surrealistic images.
Contrast in concept, and in execution..."