Rubén Aguirre (b. 1979, Chicago, IL) is driven by drawing attention to underutilized infrastructure as a potential substrate. He has produced a number of murals in the Chicago area, across the U.S., and abroad. Aguirre's work is an intersection of abstraction, graffiti, formalism, and mural painting. With forms inspired by typography, geographical terrain, and the human body, Ruben's compositions organically build a visual language often referencing the socio-historical background of each site location. His public work is informed by architecture, and plays with re-imagining public space, while investigating pattern, hard edge painting, and color field. He has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Hyde Park Art Center, and The National Museum of Mexican Art. His work has been covered by the Atlantic, and the Washington Post, and Art News. Aguirre's public works have been commissioned for clients such as Google, Adidas, Linked IN, Conde Nast, and others.
Aguirre is a painter who is expanding on his roots of style writing with a non narrative approach to mural painting. Visiting and experiencing new spaces continues to provide fresh, exciting environments in which his work is inspired and responds to. His interest lies in drawing attention to underutilized infrastructure as expanded painting. Building on the lineage of "writing", from subway graffiti and its culture as a rebellious rite of passage and search for identity and "getting up", this work is an extended progression of a practice once founded on alphabetic characters as a claiming of public space, to a response that speaks as a contribution to the space which it inhabits. This being a response that is still inspired by the nuance of language and typography, but also informed by architecture and the context of its location. Organic shapes wrap with geometric hard edge painting, that touches on the power and sensuality of form and color, accentuating its coating of 3 dimensional structures, expanding beyond the common format seen in traditional murals. In turn, this creates a new dialogue between spray paint and the substrate as the work has moved from ephemeral to commissioned. Decoding the personalized format of written graffiti into a process of publicly accessible abstract wall paintings, this current work creates a place where graffiti, formalism, and muralism overlap.