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Ricardo Valbuena At Origin Gallery

By Billy Leahy

"In Dublin" Magazine, Dublin, Ireland, May 2000

Ricardo Valbuena is a man realizing his dream. Born in Bogota , Colombia in 1960 and now resident in California, Valbuena’s current show is of paintings and drawings realized recently in Kerry.

Inspired by his first art-book on Michelangelo, Valbuena starts from a highly classical standpoint, making drawing very much the cornerstone of his work. "The ability to draw is the first challenge for an artist" Valbuena explains.

In his current show the work revolves around the interaction within the natural world, while subtly suggesting the presence of an exceptional human spirituality. The focal subjects of his work, horses and the sea, are images of power, but they do not give rise to notions of struggle, but rather of unity in the natural realm. Motion and the capture of movement comes across strongly in the works, borne out under varying sweeping skies which seem to offer an all-encompassing canopy to the paintings.

Less obvious, perhaps, is Valbuena’s color scheme as the room is circled. The colors change from red to orange to yellow to green on to blue and finally purple. "An aura", he starts, with an ever-present excitement and enthusiasm, "is present in and around the human body covering the spectrum of the rainbow- from red to purple".

Throughout our discussion Valbuena speaks of his feelings for the Skelligs (where some of the inspiration for the paintings came from), his dedication to his art and the artistic dreams he holds. The well attended opening seemed appreciative of such feelings in Valbuena and his work, or maybe it was the prospect of such genuine feeling for sale.

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