Esteban Urbieta (Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1973) is visual artist heir to the Zapotec culture. He is a cosmopolitan artist whose roots lie in the cultural virtue of Oaxaca and its geography and whose themes are based in the romance and enigma of the natural world.

At an early age, he created his first works, painting on rusty sheets in his father’s auto body and paint shop. He studied plastic arts at the School of Fine Arts of the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca, and at the Rufino Tamayo Plastic Arts Workshop in Oaxaca City, where he studied under master painter and printmaker Shinzaburo Takeda.

His art encompasses many different media: sculpture, works in vitreous enamel, painting, printmaking, and more. He has exhibited in Mexico and abroad individually and collectively. His work has received multiple awards. In 2017, the Revista Mujeres Shaique honored Urbieta for his artistic contributions to Oaxaca. In 2005, he was selected to participate in the fourth Southeast Painting and Sculpture Biennial, CONACULTA, in Chiapas, Mexico. He was awarded a scholarship by the State Fund for Culture and the Arts, in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2001. He created the “Gigantes del color” project, together with the Suke Association, to benefit children affected by the 2017 earthquake in Mexico, which consists of painting workshops, engraving, singing, poetry, and documentary projection.

With his diverse and experimental techniques, Urbieta explores themes of the relationship between humans, animals, and nature, drawing inspiration from the folklore of his native land of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. He relates these in harmonic, maternal, and loving dialogues. The tree, a symbol of the family, is a central part of his colorful work. The woman, as a ship that carries life, is portrayed as fertile, always surrounded by a vortex of fish and birds.

In the more contemporary series “Birds that sing inks,” Urbieta presents a monochromatic palette of ink, pigment, and coffee with egg tempera on paper. The birds, at once trapped in a gourd as edifying tributes, are symbols of freedom and sustainability.

Recent exhibitions:
2017 | Oaxaca to Miami | Gallery Breuer | Miami Beach, USA.
2017 | Color Depth | Terracotta Gallery | Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.