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My name is Orbein I am originally from Cuba but am now living in Miami. I'm a painter and art director using influences from the Abakua Society in my art work. I'm a strong believer in the principles of the society and was raised admiring and respecting all the Efori Enkomo ekobios of my neighborhood, Cayo Hueso, in La Habana, who influenced me to be the man, artist and father that I am today. 

My ancestors came from the Calabar region in Africa. I know this because my grandmother, Rosaura, used to keep a log of the lineage of my family dating back to enslavement.

Orbein's gallery:

Virtual Gallery of Abakua inspired images
, 8/08

Art Director
Eltonboy Designworks
Mgomo Gallery
2320 North Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33127

Orbeín: Back to His Roots  12/1/2008 Wynwood Art Magazine: "Through his work, José Orbeín attempts to vindicate the figure of the Abakuá, discredited within Cuban society because of a collection of stories, most of them false, which associate its members with criminal acts. For this reason, the artist takes elements from the sect’s beliefs and rituals, in order to capture aspects of current reality and to exalt the values of the rigorous codes of ethics and conduct that govern the group. Although the Abakuá theme has always been present, it is only in the last eight years that its presence has been made almost constant in the works of this artist. Orbeín began painting intuitively. This aptitude was encouraged by his maternal grandmother, who lacking the resources to provide him with materials, gave him cardboard and craft paper, so that he could paint on them with charcoal or anything else he might find; elements that the author has taken up again in many of his recent works. Orbeín confesses that it was painting that saved him from a difficult childhood and an adolescence marked by delinquency and marginality. He did not study arts formally; instead, he had possibly the best of all masters, the Cuban painter, Humberto Peña. Friendship with this creator provided him with theoretical training and a solid upbringing."


Orbein y la pintura como rito de pasaje  10/28/2007 Nuevo Herald: "El círculo es negro pero en su interior, dentro de la enorme silueta de un hombre sentado con la espalda erguida, están inscritos los signos de luz, indescrifrables para los no iniciados, con un triángulo que termina en puntas espinadas, como las ramas de ceibas. En torno suyo, el cielo oscuro se rasga en repentinos destellos de azul intenso, verde, ramificaciones color hueso y el nombre Ekobio Mukarará precede el horizonte. Ese es el título de uno de los cuadros más hermosos de la exhibición Abakuá, con la cual Orbein rinde honor a esta sociedad secreta en la galería Contemporánea Fine Art."

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