David Rodriguez Caballero moves with the grace of a jaguar through a Wynwood gallery. Sporting a trim beard, jeans, and a light blue shirt, the tall, slender, 42-year-old Spaniard stops before an aluminum wall sculpture that looks like a large piece of metal origami. The surface appears to have been raked with razor-sharp talons. Its surface, glowing with a crimson hue, refracts the overhead lights.
"I'm interested in painting without painting," he says.
The piece, simply titled 13.January.2013, is on display in "Reflections," Rodriguez Caballero's solo debut in Miami, which is on view during this weekend's Second Saturday Art Walk, beginning at 6 p.m. The work is part of a pop-up exhibit staged at O. Ascanio Gallery that features more than 30 aluminum, brass, and vinyl abstractions, wall installations, and free-standing sculptures.
The artist grew up near Pamplona and graduated from the University of the Basque Country, in Leioa, Vizcaya, in 1995. He majored in painting and embraced abstraction as his pictorial language. His father, Angel, worked for a multinational corporation specializing in technology and medicine. His mother, María, was a homemaker who encouraged his creative urges.
"I was always interested in art as a young child and even dabbled in graffiti for a while," the artist says. "My family [is] constantly asking me for new works to fill their house with."
Today, Rodriguez Caballero, who exhibits internationally, is represented by Marlborough Gallery, one of the world's leading art dealers, which has outposts in London, New York, Madrid, and Monaco.
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The artist, who maintains studios in New York and Madrid, cites jazz music, classical African sculpture, architecture, and his world travels as major influences. Japanese novelist Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows, which describes the collision of shadows and light, is a major source of inspiration.
"I like to work in different locations because it keeps me objective and distanced from what I'm creating," he says.