In Conversation with Metro Asheville

Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of sitting down with JC Tripp, of Metro Asheville, a guide to Asheville's more urban-leaning music, art and culture. We talked about online censorship, nude selfies, why I left New York, and what lays ahead for my work. Below is an exert from the interview. 

Body Language:
Reuben Negron’s Intimate and Intricate Nude Portraits

His work is an open dialogue on the human body, at its most revealing and telling. Negron tells stories with nudes, but invites the viewer to fill in the narrative, giving clues and body language that can be interpreted in many ways. Cues come from body language, setting, lighting and props, not unlike a stage. It’s up to the viewer to interpret what’s going on in his work, which is rich with detail and nuance and open to interpretation.

His latest series, This House of Glass is an intimate exposé on what we keep hidden from others – and in many cases, what we hide from ourselves. Working with volunteers, Negron interviewed each model about their lives, personalities and history; specifically focusing on sensitive and vulnerable details they normally keep veiled. Through this process their personal narratives were dismantled and reconstructed into Negron’s work. Staged in the model’s own home or place of special interest, each painting is a cumulative experience not meant to document a singular instance but to illustrate the entirety of the model’s story. Truly profound and moving works of art, both in their orchestration, and revelation.

Throughout his career as an artist, Negron has been exploring themes of intimacy, psychology and social politics, and most recently gender, identity, and sexuality through visual narrative. There is no shock value to his work, unless the viewer finds the human form shocking. Instead, Negron is telling stories of human sexuality and body image in an honest and provocative manner, without the smoothing over or covering up. His work’s bare honesty and intimacy expose a vulnerability and beauty that lies in all of us.
— Metro Asheville, September 29th, 2015