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Rubén Morales returns to Bordello Galería

By Misty Haskett

Bordello Galería will be hosting an exhibition featuring the paintings and sculptures of Morelian artist Rubén Morales. The exhibition will continue for three weeks and showings will be by appointment or chance.

Works by Rubén Morales
Sat, Oct 13, 6-8pm
Bordello Galería
Órganos 19
152 0732

This special exhibit features his first-ever carved stone pieces, as well as Morales’ newest paintings in a variety of sizes. His style continues to appeal with its uncomplicated themes of Mexican street life.

Morales’ impressionist renderings of typical Mexican subjects may seem simple at first, but the combination of economy of marks, rich colors and light allows these seemingly naïve paintings to reveal a more complex and intentional piece of art.

A former student of Morelia’s Bellas Artes School, Morales says he rejected most of the traditional art education and learned more from meeting other painters. He works from his memory and imagination capturing everyday life in Mexico in a striking way.

Morales regards Diego Rivera as his favorite painter, though only his subject matter reflects Rivera’s style; they both pay tribute to the common man and woman. But Morales impressionist works are technically looser and more flowing than Rivera’s.

Morales, 66, says, “I try to create a feeling or emotion, maybe portraying melancholy or sadness.” He does this through faceless subjects in everyday situations; a woman selling flowers, an old man walking with a cane or a girl washing clothes. The mood is evoked with simple gesture, posture, and color applied in broad strokes.

Still a simple man with simple ways, Morales sells most of his work on the street in Morelia, and despite significant outsider acclaim, his work continues to be fresh and affordable.

He has been noticed by international collectors who have sponsored gallery exhibits in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Florida; and Buffalo, New York as well as more locally in Puerto Vallarta. He has been shown in Uruguay and in the well-known state-sponsored Mexican collectiva “Casa de Artesanias” in Morelia. Most recently he received award- winning recognition at the “Salon International des Createurs du Siele” in France.

Barbara Poole, the exhibit organizer, first became interested in Morales’ work in 1996 and has since collected many of his oil paintings. She recently “discovered” him again on a trip to Morelia and invited him to exhibit at her guesthouse gallery in San Miguel.

The “Bordello Galería” is so named because it is located in the main sala of Madam Turca’s “Casa de la Noche,’ where notorious “ladies of the evening” once made their living. Barbara Poole, owner of the guesthouse and a painter herself, hopes to continue using her front room gallery space to promote lesser-known Mexican artists as well as emerging local sanmiguelenses.

Many of Morales’ works already decorate the private rooms at Casa de la Noche. The recently renovated 13-room Bed and Breakfast is filled with original art and is a cozy respite for tourists and travelers. Morales’ works will be on display in the main sala for a month, by appointment or chance.

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