Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Transmutation: The New Abstraction of Juan Nieves Burgos

Juan Nieves Burgos solo show, Transmutation, is on exhibit now at New Concept Barbershop and Art Gallery (12427 S. Orange Blossom Trail South Chase Village Orlando Florida). Juan sat in a barbershop chair while he discussed his life and art. This magnificent space has become a community center and mecca for the artist community of Kissimmee. There is an excitement about the place that is contagious.

Juan Nieves was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1965. His grandfather had a sign shop and a barber shop. After Middle School Juan began to study commercial art where he was certified. He continued his studies at Inter-American University (Poly)  where he studied engraving woodcut, drawing and painting. He became a graphic designer. Back then commercial artists had to know how to draw and paint unlike today where the computer does much of the work. He went on to get a masters degree in education. After graduating he taught art for about 10 years. Teaching offered a consistent income but over time however he realized he preferred to work alone in his studio rather than working with the kids. As he said, "the kids right now are not easy." Thought Puerto Rico has its problems, the people are great and it is beautiful. In 1997 he started his own signage design workshop.

In 2005 he moved to Orlando which has become his preferred home. Here he is developing his art which has evolved from representational work to the present abstract work. Here he is developing his different styles. One painting in the show was a triptych with abstract blue patterns to the left with the hint of a human eye and the center panel was a transition towards the bright abstractions that followed in the show. Juan's beginnings in  commercial art left a strong imprint on his bold personal style that is showcased in the abstract work int he show. Strong hints of a fist or flora can be found when viewing the work for some time. He mentioned that his next series of paintings are very much different than what is now on display. They are bolder and simpler incorporating large fields of white. His work is in a constant state of transmutation.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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