Since being voted Best Street Artist in New Times' Best of Miami 2012 polls (an experience he calls "humbling") Ruben Ubiera has been keeping busy with murals, public art, and gallery work alike. The gorilla is on the rise, literally and metaphorically.
Since its inception in 2010, Ruben's gorilla," aka his urban pop/post-grafism art, has moved from the streets and into galleries and collectors' homes, earning him a viable spot within the gallery space. "Graffiti and street art is the 4,000-pound gorilla sitting in the museums and galleries now," Ruben says.
The gorilla is, naturally, a favorite object for Ubiera; he has painted many variants of the colossal ape on canvas, wood and walls. And his newest gorillas are heading back to the street. In fact, one will join Ubiera's existing Wynwood mural, "Monkey Bidniss," this week.
The first gorilla, at 27th Street and North Miami Ave, is surrounded by bright origami geometric patterns in ocean blue, Granny Smith apple green, and the orange of Miami sunsets -- unmistakably Ruben. In its hands, the mighty gorilla holds the shattered and shredded lengths of train tracks it has ripped from the ground, another example of Ubiera incorporating his art's environment quite directly into the piece. (The actual train tracks lie less than a block east of the mural.)
More is yet to come for the month of July and beyond. A 200-foot wall is waiting for Ubiera's attention; all he will reveal so far is that this new mural on 24th Street and North Miami Ave "will be interactive with its environment and [have] a gorilla in it." Ruben will also paint live at the upcoming Wynwood Art Walk at the "Oh Really" concert series.
Ubiera has also been offered space at the Lee Wagner Gallery at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport, where he will be a part an upcoming group show. He is also currently participating in the 61st Annual All Florida Juried Competition And Exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art with a brick installation entitled "The Community," which is also an open series of brick installations for art in public spaces for the City of Pembroke Pines.
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With projects in the works in Broward and beyond, it's nice to know that at least a few of Ubiera's iconic apes will call Miami their permanent home.
Check out Ruben Ubiera's new mural at 27th Street and North Miami Avenue; it's scheduled for completion this weekend. The site is just a few steps away from Jimmy'z Kitchen. (Ubiera, for the record, especially recommends the churrasco mofongo.)