Monday, August 17, 2015

RUBEN NIETO at Cris Worley Fine Arts

DC-01archival print on perforated vinyl
36 x 24 inches repost 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.

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.

single that could not be reproduced well by photography. He is attempting to make his images more like textured paintings, which also can’t be well represented by a snap shot. I wonder 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.

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 sublime scene of the destroyed structure, or a combination of the three made me experience the work in a new way. Ruben Nieto will be opening this Saturday, May 16th and the show will run through June 20th. Maysey Craddock’s paintings will be up for the opening at Cris Worley Fine Arts.

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