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Ugly Paintings
James Rubio
September 9th, 2023 - October 15th 2023

Ugly Paintings marks Ki Smith Gallery's first solo show with the iconic Downtown artist James Rubio. The Ugly Paintings are an energetic reaction to "nowism" and the vibrant flooding of the present. Using bright colors and humor to explore darkness and fear, Rubio's work gives the viewer a look at the now-and-pending future through a style that references and updates the underground of the past. Rubio employs stylized cartoon motifs to present both familiar and imagined characters, allowing a space to meditate on the sensory overload that is everyday life.

About James Rubio

James Rubio is a painter based out of New York.  Rubio studied photography at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, but fell in love with painting and street art later in New York City. In 2006 Rubio joined the Antagonist Art Movement and began regularly exhibiting paintings at Niagara Bar.  He graduated to participating in international group shows and painting murals which can be found in New York, Austin TX, Chihuahua MX, and Quito Ecuador. 


Rubio has shown his work at galleries, museums, and art fairs across the U.S. As a member of Apostrophe NYC's Base 12 Project, his work was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMa PS1, Coney Island's Luna Park, Mana Contemporary, and the MTA's Kosciuszko Street J train Station. He currently shows with Ki Smith Gallery and his works can be found in several prominent private and public collections.

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