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|Ruben Nieto’s images lay waste to direct reference to comic books. In most of the works; the panels,
characters, and iconography have been placed on a pyre and blown to smithereens. His paintings
resemble a Splash page of a comic, because Nieto wants to grab your attention with action lines
and objects that seem to want to fly off the canvas. The crazy artificial colors he uses blind you
with contrast and complementary colors. His use of black only emphasizes the chaos of shapes
emanating from a highly charged singularity. The cluster of shapes do reveal hints of his source
material, but less so than his previous series. Nieto manages to push his paintings into further
abstraction, like Mondrian, he took recognizable images and pushed them into a non-objective
|Back in my comic book collection days in the 1990’s, the comic companies were doing every
|I think Nieto has tapped into our cultural obsession with violent theater. With CGI film effects, we
walk into movies expecting blood, guts, and explosions. Movies and TV dramas push a little plot
around to get to the next conflict. But unlike those other mediums, a painting can freeze that
moment and now we can have time to reflect on the fast action. We are pausing at the
moment of the highest drama, the split second when the bomb goes off. Rather than
react instinctually to actions, we can sit and contemplate about the moment, thus
Nieto has changed our relationship of the drama inducing, manufactured explosion.
|I can’t ignore the front room gallery, because Adela Andea always demands my attention.
Always charming and filled with energy, Andea’s piece Nebula feels like the future of art.
I was just introduced to the work by Robert Lansden and I am already crazy about it.
Isabelle du Toit and Rusty Scruby grace the walls with some good work as well. Fiber tip
pen on paper, talk about right up my alley. Both the Front Gallery group show and
Ruben Nieto’s “Shadow Paintings” come down June 22nd.