Louis Fernando Uribe steps up again, linking themes of eroticism, magic and realism to provide dreamy and exotic glimpses in his “theatre of symbol.” In his current exhibition at the Aldo Castillo Gallery, the artist applies his surrealist leanings toward use of shadow and texture in a show that is constantly clever. His use of medium is eerily stunning and requires a unique relationship between artist and observer.
Blues and black spell out sports themes in Uribe’s “Sport Dance” series. In ten works, athletic figures of various sporting events fly upon darkened backgrounds, dancing. Using a flat lithographic ink base on newsprint, the appearance of oils emerges. “Difficult times make people more creative,” holds gallery owner Castillo, referring to the medium.
The Venezuelan-born artist, now residing in Chicago, is fascinated with the writings of Nobel Laureate/social activist Jose Saramago. The writer’s scenarios of mystery led Uribe to “let go for a year and be guided as a child,” he says. “I decided to let go and do so. Almost this entire body of work came from this period.”
With his sculptures, crafted with hydrostone, Uribe positions himself between the political and spiritual, evoking an experience outside of economic structures. Small white boxes hold figures evolving from abstractions to figuration, “like seeing clouds,” comments the artist. The chalk white of his “Grupo II,” cast and molded, joins naked human figures in an orb. “It’s like the earth. The nude figures signify purity, nothing to hide,” Uribe shares. “But they could be corpses. Through ancient cultures you could understand the whole, via a part.”
These works are not meant to be ornamental. “Mystery is part of my work,” says Uribe. “I want my work to be mysterious, poetic, and aesthetic. Beauty,” he concludes, “is not my concern.” (Jeffery McNary)
Through October 10 at Aldo Castillo Gallery, 675 N. Franklin St.