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Rubén Morales: My Mexico

By Misty Haskett

Bordello Galería will be hosting a winter reception featuring the paintings of Morelian artist Ruben Morales. The reception will be held this Saturday, December 10, from 6 to 8pm. Morales has been a longtime favorite at Casa de la Noche, where his works are featured in many of this historic bordello’s rooms. This reception will include different offerings, as Morales promises a bit of a new look in his paintings. A few smaller pieces will be perfect for gift giving too!

Rubén Morales: “My Mexico”
Sat, Dec 10, 6–8pm
Bordello Galería
Casa de la Noche
Órganos19, 1/2 block off Hernández Macías
152 0732

Barbara Poole, the exhibit organizer, first became interested in Morales’s 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 reveals a more complex and intentional piece of art.

Morales, 70, says, “I 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 is applied in broad strokes with a palette knife or brush.

A former student at 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 the spirit of the everyday life of the Mexican worker.

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

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

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 Casa de La Noche to show works of locals and emerging Mexican artists. The 14-room bed & breakfast and White Lantern Event Center is filled with original art and offers a cozy haven for tourists and travelers.

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


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