June 12, 2011

Ruben Natal-San Miguel: Urban Water Inner Child

Photographs by Ruben Natal San-Miguel
Co-Curated by: Michael Hoeh & Leah Oates

Pricing begins at $1,400.
Please contact for details.

Euphoria, Curiosity, Ecstasy, Wonder, Enthusiasm, Anxiety, and Exuberance, these all are the emotions of the human spirit. But as image titles for Ruben Natal San-Miguel's portfolio Urban Water: Inner Child, they portray the feelings of a distinctly urban personal view on life in New York City.

Like the photos in Helen Levitt's 1965 iconic photobook, "A Way of Seeing" this portfolio too achieves that rare balance of sentiment without being sentimental, while always maintaining an objective distance. The casual observer of these photos is almost dazzled by their poetry, and can easily miss the harsher realities of inner city urban life masked by the surface warmth and joy. Here individuals play in water from sprinklers to fire hydrants and by doing so slow down for just a moment and become carefree.

In Natal San-Miguel's images people smile, leap and frolic in the water to cool down and to have enjoyment. In many images there is a feeling of intense emotion, joyful color and the exploration of how sun reflects on the figure in water at different times of the day. Artists dating back to the 19th century Impressionist movement derived from Claude Monet’s painting Impression, Sunrise, have long focused their artistic eye on capturing the ever changing colors of water in light. Now, in the 21st century world, Natal San-Miguel continues this tradition with the use of silhouettes and shadow to create magical worlds where water ripples with light underneath changing colors of blue to alternating shades of yellow and green due to the time of day. Many of these photographs exude an emotion of intense happiness and show a different side of the urban jungle, one that is pleasurable, where people relate positively with one another and where straightforward items such as a fire hydrant can be an endless source of community amusement. Natal San-Miguel’s work appeals to our inner child, one that finds beauty and joy in a city environment of hot summer sun and the shimmering water’s light.

- Michael Hoeh

FINCH & ADA will be representing Ruben's work at ART HAMPTONS 2011!

BOOTH #163

July 7-11, 2011
Sayre Park, Bridgehampton, NY

Please visit the official Art Hamptons website for more information.


Michael Hoeh, a New York based art collector, is a member of the Guggenheim Photo Acquisition Committee, the IPC Library Committee, and was the Co-Chairman of the Aperture Foundation's 2010 Winter Auction. In the summer of 2010 he organized the critically acclaimed new art photography show, "American ReConstruction" at the Winkleman Gallery in Cheslea. He was recently featured in issues of Art+Auction, and Modern Painters Magazine as one of the "New Guard" of contemporary art collectors. Mr. Hoeh is also the author of the art collecting blog, which is listed by The Metropolitan Museum, The Walker Art Center, and The London Times as a top online resource for contemporary art. He has been widely quoted in the press, including, Art in America, ArtForum, the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Magazine, Black & White Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail about the state of the contemporary art and photography market. Mr. Hoeh has also guest lectured or opened his collection to graduate classes at the SVA, FIT, NYU, UCONN, and The New School.

Leah Oates is the founder of Station Independent Projects, which is a Brooklyn-based freelance curatorial business that organizes exhibitions and events with a focus on artist advocacy and promotion. Station Independent Projects specializes in discovering new emerging and
mid-career artists that are not represented by galleries and organizes shows to connect artists to broader audiences.

Station Independent Projects has organized exhibitions in the New York City area with Asya Geisberg Gallery, The Scope Art Fair, The Bridge Art Fair, Peer Gallery,The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Chashama, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Visual Aids, Nuture Art Non-Profit, 111 Front Street Galleries, and The Kauffman Arcade Gallery and in the Chicago area at Randolph Street Gallery, The Peace Museum and The Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Shows by Station Independent have been written about in Fanzine, WNYC, The Brooklyn Rail, Crain's NYC, The Village Voice, ArtSlant, NY Arts Magazine, Chromogram, Heart as Arena, Tribeca Trib, New Art Examiner, Chicago Tribune, and New City.

Leah Oates has an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a Fulbright Fellow for study at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a grant from Artists Space in NYC for a curatorial project and two Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Grants for book projects. As an artist, Oates has had fifteen solo shows and has been in over one hundred group shows around the world and is in the private collections of Julianne Moore, Lise Curry, Cesar Llacuna, Bill Groom, Laurence Asseraf, Natalie Domchencho and Mark Waskow and her works on paper are in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The British Library, The Walker Art Center Libraries, The Smithsonian Libraries and Franklin Furnace at MoMA.

Product Details:
Urban Water: Inner Child
Euphoria, Anxiety, Ecstasy, Curiosity, Enthusiasm, Euphoria, Wonder, and Exuberance (Fighter)
Photography Portfolio by Ruben Natal-San Miguel
Co-Curated by: Michael Hoeh & Leah Oates
Seven Unique Archival Chromogenic Kodak Prints, Metallic Finish
Edition of 10; six signed with Artists Initials
Each print is sleeved and stored in archival portfolio box