Monday, March 7, 2016


"Aboriginals" By: Reinier Gamboa

I first became acquainted with Reinier Gamboa back in 1997.  I remember that day clearly.  I was a preteen "aspiring" art student sitting in my art class.  It was just a typical day until my then teacher and mentor introduced a socially awkward Cuban immigrant boy to us.  He sat next to me and I paid him little mind.  Afterall, I was busy trying to paint my way into an Art school audition.  You see, for the past two years up until that point, I was the art class "darling," so to speak.  The teacher considered me the most promising student in her class and was personally priming me to go on for further professional development.  All was well until HE walked in...

Reinier Gamboa...what can I say?  The boy could paint!  Although I had a keen sense of color and style in my work, Reinier in all his awkward silence, was a master.  He was an art prodigy without question.  I spent the rest of that year continuing on my preteen artistic path and silently stewing in my own envy while watching Reinier paint his little Cuban heart out.  It was devastating!

I began to realize that I was pretty much the only person who regularly interacted with Reinier.  We weren't "friends" per se (it was more about me sizing up the competition), but I learned that he was an art prodigy in a state of culture shock, coming from Cuba.  He didn't seem very confident, but I always knew he would be somebody in the art world one day.  I consciously made sure I remembered his name because of this.

                                                  "Native American Gothic" By: Reinier Gamboa

Reinier likes to combine the "indigenous" with the "developing world."  Perhaps to display a contrast between our natural and unnatural state as humans.  He also tends to explore a lot of mystic and surrealist themes throughout his work.

                                                          "Eye" By: Reinier Gamboa

Reinier and I found eachother again through social media some years ago when we learned of our old art teacher's passing.  There was an instant connection and upon finding out that he was taking a trip to NYC from our native Miami, we decided to meet up.  I learned a lot about him and found out that he was indeed in a state of culture shock when I first became acquainted with him.  I also learned that he admired me back then because of my style, attitude, and courage to be an individual.  I admitted to him that I admired his mad art skillzzz back then.  It was great to learn that we both saw qualities in eachother that we, ourselves, wanted and strove for in later years.

                                                                 Reinier and I 2015

It was great to see that Reinier had blossomed both as an artist, and an individual.  He has had countless exhibitions throughout the U.S. and is still going strong.  His artwork is deep and I am sure he will be legendary.

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-- Sheena

1 comment:

  1. awesome art and I love the re-appropriation of these iconic American images with the insertion of the Indigenous culture. Dope.