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Rubén Morales—My Mexico

By Beth Rosener

Rubén Morales has been a long-time favorite at Casa de la Noche, where his works are featured in many of the guesthouse rooms. This exhibit will include different offerings as Morales promises more large pieces and a bit of a new look to his paintings.

Rubén Morales
Sat, Feb 13, 6–8pm
Bordello Galería, Casa de la Noche
Órganos 19
1/2 block off Hernández Macías
152 0732

Barbara Poole, the exhibit organizer, first became interested in Morales’ work in the 90s 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 simple gestural marks reveal a more complex and intentional piece of art.

Morales, 69, says, “I try to create a mood, 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. A feeling is evoked through posture, composition, and color, which are applied in broad strokes with a pallet knife or brush.

A former student of Morelia’s Bellas Artes, 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 admires Diego Rivera as his favorite painter. Both pay tribute to the common man and woman, but Morales’ gestural works are technically looser and more flowing than Rivera’s. His simple forms and faceless figures are reminiscent of R.C. Gorman’s pieces, though Morales does not know this painter’s works.

A humble man, Morales has sold his work in Morelia in the artisans’ market and on the streets. More recently he has been noticed by collectors and has had shows in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and in Florida and New York. He has also traveled to Uruguay with his paintings and won a French Painters award when a patron entered a piece of his into a competition.

Bordello Galería, so named because its location is in the house where “ladies of the night” once made their living, uses the common rooms of the large guest house, Casa de La Noche, to show works of locals and emerging Mexican artists. The fourteen-room guesthouse is filled with original art and is a cozy respite for tourists and travelers.

Come enjoy hospitality and art, and meet Rubén Morales this Saturday evening at Bordello Galería, where the two oldest professions come together.


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