Interview: Federico Uribe - Creating Art From Everyday Objects
Federico Uribe is known for his installation art and sculptures made out of ordinary objects.
He started as a painter and describes his early work as “painful paintings relating to religion”. He stopped using oils and paints and began to work on common things such as colored pencils, cables, shoes and laces, shovels and paintbrush handles.
His latest work titled “We’re At Peace” is a series of paintings and sculptures purely using bullet shells.
Uribe studied art at the University of Los Andes in Bogota and went to New York to earn a master degree in Fine Arts.
Federico Uribe: I'm originally from Colombia. After graduating form high school, I moved to New York to do a master as a painter and I lived there for two years. Afterwards, I moved to Cuba and then to England, Mexico, Brazil and back to Mexico. I was able to do this journey thanks to different grants I had won and that helped me to support myself. Until I moved to Guadalajara in 1996, I was a painter. Then I started to play with objects. I grew confident pretty quickly and since then I have been working on the aesthetical possibilities of every object I can find. More than a sculptor, I'm a sort of weaver. I'm weaving with objects of daily life.
Federico Uribe: I believe in discipline. Inspiration can't be an abstraction of the mind. It comes while you are working and because you are in the process of working. Each time I'm working on something, I'm thinking at the same time on something else I would like to make.
I get images for my work from classical painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Michelangelo. I get the material from the supermarkets, the hardware stores. I get the ideas from going to the theater, to the movies, from reading books of fiction and history and from a reflection on my own life.
Federico Uribe: Bullet shells... This is my new creative challenge. My new series called "At peace" presents a series of freestanding sculptures and bas-relief paintings entirely composed of bullet shells that play with the juxtaposition between whimsical subject matter, animals or landscapes that are full of life, and a historically emblematic and lethal medium. Once again and as a recurrent intention in my work, I encourage the viewer to discover, beyond the sole function of an object, an underlying symbolic and aesthetic reality where life overcomes death and beauty supplants destruction.