The portraits of Rubén Contreras take us beyond the skin and into the psyche, into his subjects’ thoughts and emotions, be it an innocent young girl or a wise old man, describing, in detail and with acute technical skill and sensitivity, every shape, contour, silhouette, shadow, color, and accident momentarily inhabiting their faces. Their expressions, gestures, and glances surpass any category of simple characterization to truly establish their imposing presence before us.
For the painter, beauty breathes through the pores of those they paint, some familiar and others mere strangers, but all speaking and expressing their personality through their face and its features. Some delight us with their smooth and sensual female form and others force us to reflect on the wrinkles and marks of their maturity, while, finally, the concentrated, thoughtful, and meditative countenances of some suggest that, perhaps, they are looking for themselves in our observing eyes. ~ Ruben Contreras