Figurative painting is not only alive, but steadily increasing in prominence in the realm of contemporary visual art; the practice of Miami-based artist Reinier Gamboa is a current indication of that condition. Drawing his source material from hermetic and primitivist imagery, Gamboa hypothesizes the mysterious contents of the metaphysical world with a finely tuned hand trained in the physical world. He taps into the tense uncertainties inherent in the myths and rituals of indigenous Native American, Latin and South American cultures (all of which contribute directly to his heritage) through exploratory color fields, human and animal totems, and the natural environment. He often presents his audience with figures of dancers at rest or in waiting, religious iconography captured as if in action, and creatures surrounded by vague swathes of subtropical and supertropical tones. A precise, but experimental draughtsman, Gamboa is an example of a contemporary artist strengthened by traditional drawing and painting methodologies, keen to the overwhelming complexity of the Postmodern state.
Reinier Gamboa was born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1984. He attended the New World School of the Arts and received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (on a full Presidential Scholarship from 2002 to 2006). Gamboa's work has been featured at venues in Miami, Santa Monica, Pasadena and St. Louis, including benefit exhibitions at Locust Projects (Miami) and Nucleus Gallery (Alhambra, CA). Accolades include a First Place prize in the 2012 Figure Now Art Contest at Fontbonne University (St. Louis) and winning Best of Show in the 2002 Down River Juried Printmaking Exhibition. Gamboa lives and works in Miami. - Shana Beth Mason