Ruben Negron: This House of Glass at Like the Spice Gallery edit info

224 Roebling Street Brooklyn 11211
t: 718.388.5388
hours: Mon, Wed- Sun 12- 7 PM
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Like the Spice Gallery proudly presents a new series of paintings, entitled This House of Glass, by Reuben Negron. Watercolor, Negron’s choice of medium for his second solo exhibition here at Like the Spice, is known for it’s fragile and unforgiving nature. This medium, a constant exercise in self-control and impending chaos, is the perfect choice for Reuben’s current series in which he reaches beyond coupling, extending his focus toward introspection and the complexities of personal intimacy. This House of Glass asks you to leave your stones at the gallery door and step into the lives portrayed in these paintings.
In these new works, each subject is a volunteer, drawn to Negron's project by his desire to unravel a particular knot in their recent memory. He adopts the role of confidant and digests innumerable morsels of honesty over several weeks or months. These conversations turn into visual collaborations between Negron and his model, conceived as a collective narrative told on their terms. He establishes trust with his subjects and ultimately a degree of untouchable intimacy through his pointed engagement. The paintings blossom from layered photographs of each subject in a space associated with his or her anecdote. Tension builds between strength and fragility, loneliness and confidence, vulnerability and neglect, in Negron's mission to disclose the sitter's mind-frame. The singularity of reality fails in capturing the subject amid their tumultuous circumstances; thus Negron's images are composed of a string of moments rather than a single snapshot. His paintings capture an individual that has considered their own past yet exists in the present amid details of transpired events.
Despite the technical intricacies of Negron's scenes, the This House of Glass, series pivots around the shifting nature of the emotional animal. Like the regal couple from the 'Arnolfini Portrait' by Jan van Eyck, each subject maintains a luminous veil of mystery. Negron introduces elegantly acute details about the sitter's secret, transforming the entire room into a living portrait from the cluttered furniture to the patterns on the wallpaper. The hazy aura emphasizes the ‘surreality’ of experience and the impossibility to hammer down factual particulars even in retrospect. Negron's images are simultaneously objective and subjective, lending to a complete portrait that silences the disquiet of solitary introspection. His images are a testament to intimacy, generating passages of genuine vulnerability and reflection that invite the viewer to search for the sitter's soul like a treasure chest in a scavenger hunt.


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