Ruben Natal-San Miguel - Claire Oliver Gallery

Ruben Natal-San Miguel

New York City’s relationship with photography is rich and layered, but unfortunately, is often seen as hackneyed and spent. Its iconic touchstones and most innovative moments, landscape, and architecture have been photographed and re-photographed so many times that there is often an impression that nothing new can be said.

Enter Ruben Natal-San Miguel, who has been photographing nearly every inch of the city for the past two decades, building on its visual history while adding his own, fresh perspective to the conversation. San Miguel, who moved to New York City from Boston in 1992, originally working as an architect, then art collector, curator, and photographer, approaches its various communities with a unique sensitivity. His pictures, which cover wide geographical and cultural terrain, push against the too-often problematic gaze of documentary photography, in exchange for something that celebrates the city’s many inhabitants. This may be influenced in part by his experience as a survivor of the September 11th attacks, and a desire to preserve what he holds dear

February 20, 2021 to April 3, 2021

Claire Oliver Gallery

View exhibit press release (pdf)

“As longtime residents of Harlem, we are inspired by the rich cultural lineage of our neighborhood,” states gallerist Claire Oliver. “In the midst of this challenging year when we have all been so isolated, we wanted to showcase the resiliency and celebrate the individuals, geography, and culture of Harlem through the intimacy of photography while also supporting a vital organization that provides urgently needed aid to our community in this time of need.”

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will go towards supporting the more than 1,200 meals being served daily at the Salem United Methodist Church on 129th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. “This is one of the biggest opportunities to feed people who are hungry,” said Winston Majette, Harlem Week Executive Director.

2021    Mint Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Collection. Charlotte, NC.
2021    Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art Re-Opening
2021    Fitchburg Museum of Art, Fitchburg Massachusetts.
2020    “Expanding The Pantheon : Women R Beautiful” Solo exhibition  Mint Museum Of Art, Charlotte, NC.
2020    “Harlem Postcards” Studio Museum of Harlem, NYC.
2020    “NY Responds” Museum of The City Of NY, Manhattan, NYC
2020    “New York Stories” Museum Of The City of New York, Manhattan, NYC.
2020    “The Big Picture”: Giant Photographs And Powerful Portfolios
2020    “Styling” Black Expression, Rebellion And Joy Through Fashion, Presented by Long Gallery Harlem and Nordstrom, NYC.
2020    Postmasters Roma Selections from the Collection, Rome, Italy
2020    “Women R Beautiful”, Postmasters Gallery, New York
2020    “Summer Stock” Craven Contemporary Gallery, Kent, Connecticut.
2020    “The Confidence Game”. Artsy Curated by Savannah
2020    “Spring Affair” Center For Photography At Woodstock, Woodstock, NY.
2020    A Light Exists in Spring: Group Exhibition, Gallery 52, Jeffersonville, NY
2020    Members Show, Center For Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY.
2020    “THE ARCHIVE TO COME” Telematic Media Arts Gallery San Francisco, Ca. Curated by Carla Giannis
2020    “Racism: The Other American Pandemic” Eastern Connecticut University Gallery
2019    “Making the Invisible: Visible ‘’ Solo exhibition, Center For Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY.
2019    “NY Summer Longing Never Fade”, LMAK Gallery, Manhattan, NYC.
2019    “Summertime Salon” Group Exhibition. Robin Rice Gallery, NYC.
2019    “Members Show” Center For Photography At Woodstock, Woodstock, NY.
2019    “Queer As I” Group show. HERE Art Center , Manhattan, NYC
2019    69/19: Woodstock, Stonewall & the Moon Landing, Gallery 52, Jeffersonville, NY
2019    “Pride”, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY
2019    “ROLE PLAY”, Postmasters Gallery, Roma
2018    “Summertime Salon” Group Exhibition . Robin Rice Gallery, NYC.
2018    “Greetings From Coney Island”Group exhibit . United States District Court for the Eastern District of NY .
2017    “Made In NYC” Solo show Exhibition at Independent Projects, LES, NYC.
2017    “UPTOWN” Triennial Of Contemporary Art- Museo Del Barrio, Manhattan, NYC.
2017    “Contemporary Art Permanent Collection exhibition.  Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina.
2017    “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” WhiteBox NYC.
2016    “WE AMEricans” Station Independent Projects Gallery, Manhattan, NYC.
2016    Pushing Buttons, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY
2015    Aperture Foundation Benefit & Auction Gala, New York, NY
2015    “Street Life: A New York City Vanishing Act” SoHo Photo Gallery, NYC
2010    “First Class: Second Class”  Asya Geisberg Gallery Manhattan, NYC.

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Conversations on Content

Artist Ruben Natal-San Miguel sits down with gallerist Claire Oliver to discuss the idea of hunting for resilience his photographs