Pintura Orgánica de Fernando Ureña Rib




















I will marry Flora!



Tomorrow will be the happiest day of my life. I will marry Flora! 
I will finally be able to love that athletic body which I’ve looked at so many times, enthralled, since my adolescence. No longer will my heart cherish that horrible mixture of pleasure and fear that I experienced when seeing her leap from the high trapeze. No longer will I feel the anger when seeing her perform her acrobatic jumps with Ramón, who, smiling, would embrace her as both fell on the net.


It’s true that Flora’s appearance has deteriorated.   Her hands are now calloused and her arms look flaccid. But she will no longer live that boisterous and depraved life of clowns, dwarves and contortionists of the circus. When Ramón died, (I, myself, loosened the ends of the ropes that would hold him up) Flora fell into a deep depression and there was no dwarf, monkey or clown who could make her laugh.

I was always by her side, I must say, although that was not within my duties. I was in charge of getting rid of the stench of the animals. Touring hours were long and exhausting, in isolated villages of Minas Gerais and in the towns surrounding the Paraná River, where it was impossible to understand the vastness of Brazil. 


I would get up at dawn to bathe and clean up shit from the elephants and Bengal tigers as well as feed hungry tigers, monkeys, parrots and falcons. Of course, nobody would pay attention to my miserable and insignificant work, least of all Flora who would be the last to notice me as she, in her splendor was desired by everyone around her. Ah!...she had been born to be an entertainer. She could sing and dance and was like a juggler who does not know the horrors of fear.


And it was because of that fear that I went to see Madame Alphonsine one day. She is a juggler-conjuror and palmistry reader who worked at one of the booths placed at the entrance to the big tent. She took my hands in an expectant silence, looked up, looked me straight in the eyes and just said with remarkable emphasis: “You have to break down the wall that prevents your happiness.” She took my coins and said no more. But I understood. Ramón had to be overthrown, destroyed. This acrobat, trapeze worker and animal trainer held me in contempt and was the cause of my sufferings. All I had to do was loosen the knots on the net and wait for Ramón to collapse after one of his arrogant somersaults from the high trapeze.


I took advantage of those days when there was great turmoil between Ramón and Flora caused by a gorgeous, invertebrate female contortionist. (newcomer to the circus?) I discretely prepared everything to make the collapse look like an accident or a suicide. It was the last show and just before the curtain fell, the drums thundered in suspense and the announcer, after a chilling silence, prompted a cry of expectation to the audience. Ramón himself had asked him to announce something new, something never seen before. As if swallowing his voice in an unusual solemnity and stressing the syllables of his speech he exclaimed, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please listen attentively and keep a respectful silence. Everyone will now watch Ramón Urrutia’s great mortal somersault after performing three rounds in the air.


As it was in those distant places, there was no one to claim or honor the body of Ramón, I, myself, had to slaughter the trainer, feeding his flesh to the voracious appetite of the tigers. I promised Flora that I would take care of her, that I would be her support and comfort and that I would never leave her. That’s why tomorrow will be the happiest day of my life. I am free of fears and Flora will marry me!







Born in La Romana, Dominican Republic, in 1951, Fernando Ureña Rib began his Art training at the Age of twelve cumulating with a degree and designation as Professor of Drawing from the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo. (1968) During his post graduate work he studied with Jaime Colson, a recognized master of Dominican Painting (1969-1971) In the early seventies he lived and studied in Spain. (1973-1976) During this time he traveled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa developing a more comprehensive understanding of fine Arts as cultural expression.

In 1977 he received an invitation from the State Department of the United States to acquaint himself with the major museums, universities Art schools and galleries of this country. Returning to the Dominican Republic he was named Director of the Art Department of APEC University (1978) and later he was appointed Public Relations Director of the National Museum of Modern Art (1981) He is a past president of the Dominican Artist Association. (1992-1994) Fernando Ureña Rib’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Madrid, Soria, Malaga, Ponce, Bonn, Mainz, Bad Kissingen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Rome, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, San Juan, Miami, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Bogota, Caracas, Santiago, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Santo Domingo 

Fernando Ureña Rib is a former President of the Dominican Artist Association, member of AICA, (Association International de Critiques d' Art, Paris) and AIAP (Association International des Artistes Plastiques, Paris.


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