Emanuel Ribas

Mixed Media

Artist Statement

(b.1988) Cuban-American

A sense of homelessness and exile have been profoundly impactful forces in my life. Naturally, they are woven deeply into the fabric of my artistic practice. 

I’m a second-generation Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist. I am also queer, though my queerness is less a function of my sexuality than it is a question of exile. Exile from the boundaries of the Normal, the Moral, even the Real. I am brown. I live with physical and learning disabilities. Though vital, none of these things wholly encapsulate me. I am more than the total sum of my categories. But they’re nevertheless significant, even central, to who I am, and subsequently, to my artistic practice. The work I’m engaging in now are visually unconventional works produced through transformative meditative practices driven by the urge to explore my experiences through radical modes of representation that invite viewers to inquire, to experience discomfort themselves, and ultimately to be freed, in whatever measure is possible. Although I do not condone universal and ahistorical narratives of the self, and clearly identify with the various differences that set me and others ‘like me’ apart, as an individual and artist I don’t feel confined to any one group, organizing narrative or aesthetic credo. Instead, I seek to embrace the intricacies and contradictions, the pain and the pleasure, and give it all up, let it exist in the seeing, the listening, and the experience of another. 


Studied Visual Art at New World School of the Arts where I completed my BFA in Drawing with highest honors in 2017 and was a finalist for the Cintas Fellowship the following year.  My work has been exhibited in Cifo Gallery, Unbound, (2017), NoGuchi Breton Gallery, The Incubator (2015), Exile Books, Zines Queens & Everything In-between (2016), Mindy Solomon Gallery, Make It Nice Again (2017), The Night Club, Inside the Writers Studio (2018), The Fountainhead, Everyday is Summer (2018), and the Lowe Art Museum, Cintas Fellowship Ceremony (2018).

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