Alumni in the Arts: Esther Ruiz

Inspired by space operas, pop culture, geometry and the setting sun, Esther Ruiz creates objects that operate simultaneously as miniature landscapes from a distant future (“A planet with neon cosmic dust rings and a triangular shaped moon, which align perfectly as they slip away from the sun...”) and actual size sculptures informed by the family of Minimalism. The cylinder, the semicircle, the triangle, and other Euclidean forms are combined into colorful and expressive freestanding sculpture. She tops cast cement columns with Plexiglas triangles, neon arches, and fractured geodes in a way that leaves viewers thinking of (among other things) Dan Flavin, Pink Floyd, and the stark beauty of the desert. The newer works, shifting away from the cylindrical forms, but still adhering to a strict material diet, act as objects from these landscapes. Some act as tomes, containing foreign information; others as stand-ins for familiar domestic objects but with fundamental idiosyncrasies. As sparse and concise as these pieces are, this work is replete with inherent feuds. Esther somehow manages to investigate and celebrate both fictional landscapes and material honesty. It is elegantly abstract and evocatively representational and, in the way she positions synthetic and natural materials together, she creates a tiny battle over those materials’ permanence in relation to each other.

Ruiz received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art in 2011. She has shown nationally and internationally at various galleries including yours mine and ours gallery (New York City), New Release Gallery (New York City), Planthouse Gallery (New York City), Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn), Platform Baltimore (Baltimore), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Field Projects (New York City), Fridman Gallery (New York City), Regina Rex (New York City), and The American Center for Physics (College Park). Spaceworks has awarded her the Artist Grant and Williamsburg Studio Lottery. She was born in Houston, Texas, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

"New Stone Age"