Kiss Trap Kismet (and 4 details)
PVC pipe, urethane, wood, expanding foam, aluminium, spray paint.
300 x 384 x 122 cm
Sterling Ruby works prolifically in a wide range of mediums, from glazed biomorphic ceramics and poured urethane sculptures, to large-scale spray-painted canvases, nail polish drawings, collages and videos.
Through his varied practice he conducts an assault on materials and social structures, referencing subjects that include marginalised societies, maximum-security prisons, modernist architecture, artefacts and antiquities, graffiti, bodybuilders, the mechanisms of warfare, cults and urban gangs.
Recondite (and 2 details)
PVC pipe, plastic urethane, wood, aluminum, spray paint
13 parts Overall dimensions: 464.8 x 853.4 x 426.7 cm
Monument Stalagmite/Headbanger (2008), Recondite (2007), Kiss Trap Kismet (2008) and the suggestively bloodied Headless Dick/Death Till (2008) are large enough to raise questions around sculptureâ€™s assumed relationship to the human scale. In contrast to the pure conceptual forms of minimalism, Rubyâ€™s messy aesthetic, with its spray marks, dripping paint and worn down edges presents iconoclastic graffitied objects as visceral, organic systems that possess a manmade quality and an allure despite their overt uglyness.
His works are unique hybrids of sources, media, glosses on tradition and autobiographical notation. â€śRecondite is modelled after a small desktop meditation fountain given to me by my mother. I had just come back from a trip to Germany [where Ruby was born], and I realized this small fountain reminded me of some of the fascist architecture I had just seen. The monument plays a big role in much of my work because it is defined as a structure built for the sole purpose of remembering something that has been lost. I came up with Recondite as a title, as it refers to esoteric or specialized knowledge. I was addressing the way artists of my generation felt trapped by a kind of post-modern burden of ideas, theories, and histories. It seemed impossible to make a sincere gesture anymore. This was my monument to all of that.â€ť