FREDERICO URIBE REFLECTS
“I don’t have a drawing in my head, I have a feeling, and I build it,” said Columbia-born, Miami-based, internationally exhibiting Federico Uribe during a telephone interview describing his work methods.
The starting point of his highly organized compositions is “mindfulness,” which he attempts to achieve during countless hours of meditation. The word “emotion” rises up often during conversation, as does the body-mind holistic concept where all the senses are united during creative play.
The result of this active centering and psychological analysis is an explosion of focused, multilayered, obsessively composed narrative and theatrical installations that fill entire gallery spaces — ceiling, floor and walls — and are transformed into energetic passion plays.
Uribe’s final forms evoke large-scale pop-up books. The three-dimensional realism is constructed from thousands of commercially-made plastic, metal and fiber objects, usually new, not found, that have been pulled apart, recycled and given new identities. The formal goal is to evoke sensation from color and textural properties and, as he’s said, encourage the viewer to “feel the object” emotionally.
As expected with such work, the new constructions are symbolic, metaphorical and deeply insightful. The work is heavy on the concept of resurrection, or the duality of deconstruction/construction.
In interviews related to other exhibitions, he’s implied that he exploits objects or “kills” them as a response to how industry destroys earth-life to create products, cycling it back to “make life” from synthetic material. By deleting an object’s original purpose, he creates death; by reconstructing the parts he’s originating fresh life or giving consciousness to that which is dead.
J. Fatima Martins