© By Juan G. Sánchez Martinez
© Translated by Lorrie Jayne
Brus Rubio Churay is a Murui-Bora artist from the Amazon region. He was born in 1984 in the community of Pucaurquillo, located in the basin of the River Ampiyacu, in Loreto, Peru. In his work, natural dyes and acrylic come together on canvas and ‘llanchama,’ the fibrous bark of the ojé tree. In “Our grandfather guiding the children”, the ancient territory / jungle carries the children, keepers of water and dance. Trickstery and joy emanate from the earth in a maze of barks and branches.
Whether in Miami, Havana, or Paris, the jungle reveals its boa eyes. Rubio’s sight captures the invisible. The world of men fills only a bare snippet of the canvas. Though the waterfront and the beach unfurl all of their human strength, the beings that sustain the image are, and are not, women and men, but the beings who inhabit the canvas alongside tourists, and songs and dances that accompany Salsa.
Between the city and the jungle, the Murui-Bora gods of this universe are not mere mythical episodes from a book. They are the curious gaze of Buinaima himself before the indelible structures of a contemporary city. What in the world have men done with the Tree of Abundance? Could it be true that they divide the platters of macambo and petroleum as if there were no consequences? The skeletons of the devourers devour themselves.
Rubio explains in his bio:
“My creation reflects a great cosmic happiness because it is inspired by gods and important mythic people, by festivals and rituals, by the tasks of farming and cooperative work (minga), by the magic and beauty of fish and animals, by the song, vision, and sacred work of my ancestors. All of this is part of my existence, of my way of thinking, feeling, and looking at the world.”
“(…) My paintings also address social, historical, and political themes that affect my people and Amazonia in general, such as environmental contamination, the crimes of the rubber barons against my ancestors, corruption, and the outside agencies that impose development programs without understanding the local reality.”
Considered as a whole, the work of Brus Rubio allows long silences for daydreaming (but not for romanticism or exoticism.) The viewer goes from the known (let’s say a leaf) to the orange skin of a jaguar made of falling leaves. Suddenly, colorful butterflies alight upon the Milky Way while the Mother bathes beneath the stars. Eroticism and love linger, buzzing above the waters.
More about Brus Rubio
Artist website: https://www.brusrubio.com/