In his newest series, Conectado, Miami-based artist Federico Uribe uses reclaimed electrical cables to create a literal connection between the viewer and each vibrant piece. The wires twist and bend to form portraits and landscapes that seem to vibrate with energy. Appearing to straddle the border between two-dimensional painting and sculpture, the recycled electronic components merge to form organic, swirling shapes instead of rigid, mechanical objects.
Originally from Bogota, Columbia, Uribe’s work is influenced by his “dark reflections on the Catholic sense of pain, guilt and sexuality.” Several of his compositions feature tortured faces or figures buried underneath heavy objects. In others, limbs and strands of hair reach out, searching for a place to make a connection. The bright colors of the wires draw the audience into subjects that belie a brooding sense of anxious contemplation. Flowing like veins, the wires resemble the impasto brush strokes of artists like Van Gogh, giving the paintings a sensual quality.
Uribe has an attraction to using everyday objects for his pieces. Previously, he has taken advantage of pencil tips and gardening tools to complete his works, letting the material dictate the overall compositions. “As much as I can, I try to respect the materials the way they are and try not to change the conditions they come with. They have their own beauty, and I have to respect that.” he says. Enjoying the “plastic possibilities” of found objects, he relies on the shape to guide what it will become instead of focusing on its originally intended function. Much of his medium comes to his studio by chance, donated by friends. Unlike paint, which he abandoned in 1996, the repurposed materials carry an emotional resonance of their past utilitarian origins.