A short story by Fernando Ureña Rib
Tomorrow will be the happiest day of my life. I will
marry Flora! I will finally be able to love that
athletic body which I’ve looked at so many times,
enthralled, since my adolescence. No longer will my
heart cherish that horrible mixture of pleasure and fear
that I experienced when seeing her leap from the high
trapeze. No longer will I feel the anger when seeing her
perform her acrobatic jumps with Ramón, who, smiling,
would embrace her as both fell on the net.
It’s true that Flora’s appearance has deteriorated.
Her hands are now calloused and her arms look flaccid.
But she will no longer live that boisterous and depraved
life of clowns, dwarves and contortionists of the
circus. When Ramón died, (I, myself, loosened the ends
of the ropes that would hold him up) Flora fell into a
deep depression and there was no dwarf, monkey or clown
who could make her laugh.
was always by her side, I must say, although that was
not within my duties. I was in charge of getting rid of
the stench of the animals. Touring hours were long and
exhausting, in isolated villages of Minas Gerais and in
the towns surrounding the Paraná River, where it was
impossible to understand the vastness of Brazil. I would
get up at dawn to bathe and clean up shit from the
elephants and Bengal tigers as well as feed hungry
tigers, monkeys, parrots and falcons. Of course, nobody
would pay attention to my miserable and insignificant
work, least of all Flora who would be the last to notice
me as she, in her splendor was desired by everyone
around her. Ah!...she had been born to be an
entertainer. She could sing and dance and was like a
juggler who does not know the horrors of fear.
it was because of that fear that I went to see Madame
Alphonsine one day. She is a juggler-conjuror and
palmistry reader who worked at one of the booths placed
at the entrance to the big tent. She took my hands in an
expectant silence, looked up, looked me straight in the
eyes and just said with remarkable emphasis: “You have
to break down the wall that prevents your happiness.”
She took my coins and said no more. But I understood.
Ramón had to be overthrown, destroyed. This acrobat,
trapeze worker and animal trainer held me in contempt
and was the cause of my suffereings. All I had to do was
loosen the knots on the net and wait for Ramón to
collapse after one of his arrogant somersaults from the
took advantage of those days when there was great
turmoil between Ramón and Flora caused by a gorgeous,
invertebrate female contortionist.(newcomer to the
circus?) I discretely prepared everything to make the
collapse look like an accident or a suicide. It was the
last show and just before the curtain fell, the drums
thundered in suspense and the announcer, after a
chilling silence, prompted a cry of expectation to the
audience. Ramón himself had asked him to announce
something new, something never seen before. As if
swallowing his voice in an unusual solemnity and
stressing the syllables of his speech he exclaimed,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please listen attentively and
keep a respectful silence. Everyone will now watch Ramón
Urrutia’s great mortal somersault after performing three
rounds in the air. “
it was in those distant places, there was no one to
claim or honour the body of Ramón, I, myself, had to
slaughter the trainer, feeding his flesh to the
voracious appetite of the tigers. I promised Flora that
I would take care of her, that I would be her support
and comfort and that I would never leave her. That’s why
tomorrow will be the happiest day of my life. I am free
of fear and Flora will marry me!
By Fernando Ureña Rib
curve, the luster, the transparency of glass that provokes
the desire to touch, to penetrate, to caress...Why? In
what mix of impression, discovery and research serve?
troubled by these images in movement, which I experienced
in the universe of Fernando Ureña Rib. Perpetual sculpted
spaces, open spaces, folded, contoured, projected. A world
of soft forms, polishes, infinities open to multiple
dimensions provoking one to touch.
texture skin of canvas, of sculpture of the Dominican
artist reflects self. Continuously tempted to place one
hand on the curve, and follow the lines. What is the
aftertaste or rather the before taste of the dream that
desire that never ceases to renew itself, allows oneself
to fulfill the adventure.
the organic forms we question ourselves: are they flowers,
shells, fruits of the sea or women? The most
representative figures were a couple enlaced together on
horseback, always, the blues, the ochre's, and the orange.
Creating a magic moment where time is suspended.
breath of life and intimacy surprises you, forcing you to
stop. His images are always fluid, melting, free of
constraints, crossing boundaries of rigid spaces and fixed
sensitive, indulgent, deeply intense, of perseverance, of
conviction and desire, that is how I would briefly
describe the artist that I've met.
imaginative worlds freed from the pressures of imitation
and representation, having their own magic, impregnated
with the spontaneous associations of dreams, those
imaginative worlds are organized on canvas and paper...as
in the work of Fernando Ureña Rib. So we reaffirm that the
artist in his last metamorphoses has evolved a fantastic
surrealism. This is an open face of youthful maturity
susceptible of other unsuspected evolutionary solutions.