Rubén Morales, new work, new look

By Misty Haskett

Bordello Galería will be hosting a new exhibition featuring the paintings of Morelia artist Ruben Morales. The reception will be held this Saturday, February 16, from 6 to 8pm.

Rubén Morales, new work, new look
Sat, Feb 16, 6-8pm
Bordello Galería
Órganos19, 1/2 block off Hernández Macías

Morales has been a longtime favorite at Casa de la Noche, where his works are featured in many of the guesthouse rooms. This opening will include different offerings, as Morales promises a bit of a new look to his paintings. We will all be surprised.

Barbara Poole, the exhibit organizer, first became interested in Morales’ work in the nineties and has since collected many of his oil paintings. His renderings of typical Mexican figures and street scenes may seem simple at first, but his use of rich colors and light make these seemingly naïve paintings reveal a more complex and intentional piece of art.

Morales, 66, says, “I try to create a feeling or emotion, not just a picture.” 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 through posture, composition and color, which is applied in broad strokes with a pallet knife or brush.

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

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

He sells his work in Morelia, in the artisan’s market and on the streets, and also through galleries in Mexican beach locales, but has been noticed by American collectors and has had shows in Tuscon and Phoenix, Arizona, Florida and New York. He has also traveled to Uruguay with his paintings, and won a French painters’ award when a piece of his was entered into a competition by a patron.

Bordello Galería, so named because its location in the house where “ladies of the night” once made their living, takes one room of the large guesthouse, Casa de La Noche. Barbara Poole, owner of the house and a painter herself, hopes to use her space to promote lesser-known Mexican artists. The 13-room guest house is filled with art and is a cozy respite for tourists and travelers.


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