Photos by Isaacc García
Rider Ureña, a young Dominican artist, is not obsessed.
Not with Facebook, or You Tube, or any such platforms of communication.
No, not in the least.
And he is being serious, really, when he says so.
This is not a parody.
But you'd be forgiven for second-guessing yourself in conversation with the prolific and dynamic artist, whose most recent works have been installed in the first floor retail space at the Inwood Center, in an exhibition that has been put together with a number of sponsors and partners including, among others, Un Chin Arts, Facility Value, the Hispanic Minority and Women Business Enterprise organization, and Manhattan Mini-Storage, among others.
The exhibit, titled "Live Without Dead Time," was one that showcased Ureña's art together with fellow artist Dario Oleaga, touches on themes of recreation, work and time – and how the three often come together in confusing and poignant ways.
The exhibit was previewed in its opening reception this past Thurs., May 12th.
In one piece, his version of You Tube, Ureña took a whimsical approach to the ubiquitous cat and kitten videos that pop up on the popular website.
Upon a white sheet of paper, he drew and painted a vivid purple comb.
"This is my You Tube video," he explained, sardonically.
Ramon Vera, who has helped organize the exhibition with Un Chin Arts, saw the exhibit, and venue, as a unique way of helping local artists express the different facets of themselves in an ever-changing environment, be it northern Manhattan or the landscape of demanding technology.
"All the artists here are involved in a number of different projects," explained Vera. "There seems to never be any 'dead time,' but being able to show exhibit here offers everyone a new opportunity to stop and observe their own work."
Other images included military vehicles and war tanks, a number of them, some as black decal outlines marked onto a white background and spattered, purposely and incongruously with pastel paint, and in other instances, embossed in brittle gold.
The war theme came to him, explained Ureña, after President Obama announced the official end of the war in Iraq.
"I asked myself, 'What will they do with all those tanks?'. Each one costs millions of dollars and weighs tons," said Ureña. "'Where will they go? With whom now will we need to wage war?'"
This time, he was being serious.
For more information on the artist and his new exhibit, please visit www.riderUreña.blogspot.com.