Ruben Nieto is a Dallas based artist exploring an ongoing endeavor into “comic abstractions”, a phrase coined by the artist to reflect both the subject matter and the process involved in creating the works. Drawing from iconic source material, Nieto digitally assembles disparate fragments from various comic books and popular culture. These digitally derived sketches serve as the starting point to what ends in an explosive composition of color and movement on canvas.
A master of what he calls “comic abstraction,” Ruben Nieto draws on a creative process rooted in childhood memories of watching cartoons and reading comic books. Inspired by historical greats like Warhol, Motherwell, Still, Sultan, Pollock, and Lichtenstein, he assembles disparate fragments from his iconic source material, digitally altering characters via Photoshop to create a new narrative within his densely layered compositions. By appropriating and re-contextualizing Lichtenstein’s flat graphic look, wavy brushstrokes, and Ben-Day dots, Nieto’s digital prints and oil paintings offer a moment of “savoring” the formal elements found in the pop master’s work.
“I am approaching comics from a formalistic perspective, and I am interested in the aesthetics, not so much the narrative. And with the comics, if I place or if I remove the text and put it in a different context, that text still makes sense. How can I create something that makes sense to me? I deconstruct the comic books and re-contextualize with a pop look into a contemporary style” –R.N. Art+Seek 2010
Ruben Nieto was born in Veracruz, Mexico. He holds a BFA from the Universidad de Guanajuato, and a MFA in Arts and Technology from The University of Texas at Dallas. Recently, Nieto was featured in New American Paintings, issue No. 114. Nieto has shown internationally in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
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