Ricardo Ruiz is a studying artist at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. His work explores the rhythms of various media to express a unique aesthetic achieved from observing the artist’s relationship with the gestures of creation. Much of his work focuses on a subject’s visage to represent the many aspects of the living condition. You can stay up to date with his work on his website.
At what point in your life did you begin to identify yourself as an artist?
That is a difficult question for me because I have always been surrounded by art due to the fact that my father has been professionally painting for the last thirty years. I would have to say I didn’t consider myself a proper artist until about two years ago with works that satisfied a feeling for me.
What role has art played in your life?
Like I mentioned earlier my father is a working artist, so making has always been a constant development for me. It has fortunately been a motion that I can indulge in for twelve hours a day in some mode. Not to ring a cliché, but art is a constant investigation for me that I have put all of my effort into continuing.
Did you study art at a university or any other institution?
Yes, I am currently completing a bachelor of fine art degree at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
How has studying art at Texas A&M Corpus Christi challenged your artistic practices or even progress your work from before?
The university provided me an environment where I could be allowed to fail and expand those failures into new areas for my work to occupy. Through decisions made within the process of making in a shared studio environment, essentially isolated from the greater art world, it forces you to research otherwise your thoughts remain stagnant. I feel its appropriate for me to make a concession to the great faculty and staff within Texas A&M Corpus Christi and especially Professor Ryan O’ Malley for their time and patience.
Your work represents a lot of different practices with media such as watercolor, print, and even oils. Tell me more about how you use these varieties of media to represent yourself in your unique works.
Each medium has a specific rhythm that encourages a different scene. I believe all of the works I produce are extensions of drawing whether it is physical gestures to dilute line into tone and form, or a certain immediate nonchalance in approach that I find appealing. The works deal with the living condition and have recently become defined as processing the everyday through superstitions and unknown symbols due to a fascination with how humankind interprets the unknown within its environment.
What media is most important to you in representing your identity?
Lately I have been working almost exclusively in watercolor, but my attention transitions very often. Lately, I have been very interested in the prospect of ceramic and wood sculptures so that could be my next decision.
Your work showcases varieties of visages. Are these images created from life or memory?
The portraits run parallel to life and memory, they are representations of life as interpreted by my memories. Which I find interesting in how my own thoughts can become second hand to reality and fulfill my very ambiguous aesthetic.
How do you relate to the identity of these visages in your work, and what is important to you in their representation?
The work relays every thought, feeling, and anxiety that occurs within my daily condition. To some degree the work is incredibly personal but I prefer to remain fairly anonymous with those intentions. I don’t consider a piece complete until it is able to deliver some form of reaction.
If a viewer doesn’t create a reaction to a specific work or series, do you believe your art to have failed?
That’s a curious prospect for me to think about, the idea of a person retaining no reaction from whatever work of mine they might be viewing is interesting. Whether they are completely disinterested or hate the work I feel there is logic to that feeling I am willing to understand and accept. So in short, there is no reaction that I am not willing to humor from the viewer and I believe that is a result due to the fact that I produce work out of necessity for my own personal fulfillment.
What role, then, does the viewer play in bringing your work to life?
The viewer completes the cycle of culture from artist to exhibition, in which they interpret the works from their own personal experience and are able to draw conclusions and opinions within the environment they are engaged in. While this conversation can very easily go into a discussion about social politics and infrastructure I believe that the fundamental exchange between maker and viewer/participant/patron is a necessity for any society to develop further.
What inspires you to create a new series of work?
All of the work I produce is referential to my environment, so any amount of exposure could take my work into some other corner for a bit. Though lately formal aspects concerning materials and color have taken the reigns in my new imagery.
Where has art taken you at this moment in your life?
I have been fortunate enough to participate in national and international exhibitions and am currently in the process of preparing for several group and solo exhibitions. With that noted, I am also currently excited to be engaged in several curated artist projects.
How do you believe your work is represented in a solo exhibition as compared to a group exhibition where it must communicate with works from other artists?
Actually, my first solo exhibition will be occurring this month, though, I do feel I can comment on the differences in presentation and communication. I believe the main difference is the acute nature of the conversation that occurs within a solo exhibition between the artist and the space. It essentially becomes a more intimate gesture between the artist and his thoughts. Though their will always be a dialogue between artists even within a solo exhibition, whether it’s the artists you surround yourself with or the specific lineage within your work everything is informed by something.
What do you believe is your role as a contemporary artist in the world?
My role within the cycle of humankind has always been a point on contention for me. My personal opinion becomes tangled with drawn out discussions on what it means to be human. What I do feel comfortable stating is I believe the role of an artist is to provide culture that expands on their surroundings.
Last modified: May 9, 2015