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Jul 2, 2007

Lion


Federico Uribe is a sculptor, painter and artist originally from Colombia, now living and working in Miami Beach. He studied art at "Universidad de los Andes" in Bogotá and then continued studying in New York. Destiny crossed him with a Puma's executive in an airplane, who learned that Uribe's art is based on everyday objects (baby-bottle nipples, plastic forks, coins, cleaning supplies, screws, etc). The shoes manufacturer gave him some samples to see what he could do, and after blowing their minds with some samples they offered him thousands of shoes and shoelaces. I was lucky enough to walk into the Puma Design store in the Meatpacking District, New York, the same day the exhibition was opening. Drinks, great food, a provoking live African rhythm, and the artist himself in the middle of his urban jungle. I forgot about the walls and cement to enter into a new dimension.

This exhibition was first displayed at Art Basel Miami Beach 2006, and then adapted to the Chelsea Art Museum, where it will stay until August 18. Although the Museum itself doesn't want to classify it, they name the Pop Art as a possibility, and an idea of the human impact on the planet. That's where the never-ending paradox lies: the shoes manufacturers hurt the environment, the damaged environment hurts the animals, the artist takes what the manufacturers create to re-create a new environment for the animals, which though it's incredibly beautiful, it has the manufacturer's stamp on each animal.

A month after I was at the exhibition I'm still thinking this interwoven concept-content-aesthetics. Like fire-marks in livestock, the countless Pumas are a conscious reminder that they are part of this exhibition, an invitation to buy and even love (or hate) the brand. But if you stay enough time to open your mind and give yourself to a complete stimulation, you will find above and beyond all Uribe's pure instinct, sensitivity, and vision. Is this really a call of urgency to save the planet? Is this a new sport sponsored by Puma? Is this a master class of installations? Is this a philosophical puzzle beneath the surface? Go deep into this magic jungle and ask yourself. But don't ask Uribe... he is another animal in the jungle. And a very special one.


"Human Nature" by Federico Uribe
Chelsea Museum of Art
56 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
tel 212.255.0719 
e-mail contact@chelseaartmuseum.org

Open Tuesday through Saturday Noon to 6pm - Thursday Noon to 8pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
$6 adults, $3 students and seniors, free for members and visitors 16 and under

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