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RUBEN NIETO
at Cris Worley Fine Arts
by Todd Camplin

Ruben Nieto returns to Cris Worley Fine Arts with a new batch of comic book inspired mashups.
The majority of the show consists of mono-digital prints with just a painting or two to remind
people about Nieto’s roots for the new work. I made a general nuisance of myself, keeping
Cris Worley at the gallery late while I looked around, but couldn’t help myself,  I had my
eye on the show ever since I saw the press release drop in my email.  
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When I think about comic books in art, Pop art comes to mind. Many art historians have asserted
that Pop artists were reacting against the abstract artists. Both groups of artists were in conflict,
because their approaches and personal philosophies were at odds.  Nieto combines the Pop
reference and then puts these images into a kind of visual blender that turns the graphic
illustrations into abstractions. However, because the sourced images are from bright, straight
forward colors, the usual expressiveness of abstractions which the Pop artists were reacting
against, has been stripped out. Now the images remain flat like the comic pages, only cut up
and layered to make abstract images. If you look closely at printed material on buses or some
buildings, you might notice small holes all over the surface in uniform fashion, well this industrial
material is perforated vinyl and Nieto uses this perforated vinyl as his surface to print his own
images. I am reminded of Roy Lichtenstein's paintings that incorporate dots like the printed
comic books of his era. By using this material Nieto is being very retro in style,  but contemporary
with his surface and use of digital media.
what my selfie in front of his work will look like. Each work was engaging and some had hints
of texts, but I was a little distracted by the white frames. Nieto had one large unframed piece
that looked more like a painting and I felt held its own without the aid of a frame.
DC-01archival print on perforated vinyl
36 x 24 inches
During Paul Booker’s show, I didn’t have time to consider Maysey Craddock’s work, but this time
I felt like I was walking into the second gallery space for the first time. Craddock’s paintings are
sewn together images of an old ruined church. Maybe the fact that the decline of Christians
in the United States was in the news, or the fact I am reading a Ken Follett novel, or the strange