Sterling Ruby

Known for working in a variety of disciplines from sculptures ceramics painting collage and drawing.

From artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia), urban gangs and graffiti, hip-hop culture, craft, punk, masculinity, violence, public art, prisons, globalization, American domination and decline, waste and consumption.’

The dripping polyurethane stalagmite pieces monolithic dripping masses, monumental, masculine somewhat phallic. I saw in the 2013 exhibition EXHM at Hauser and Wirth have always stuck with me as I have a big obsession with drips and the use of them in painting  or in his case sculpture to really capture time and give the impression of molton.

I’m quite interested in  the use of text on the support and wooden appendages which he writes either the title of  the peace or reversely this is where the title comes from. Alluding to the struggle perhaps of life and with authority and there is something almost military about the pieces and text. But sterling has said that these are used to subvert the idea of the phallus. The pieces appear to be flowing with the movement but much like real life cave stalagmites a representative of moments passed, often when being interviewed sterling uses the term truncated to describe the work.

His ‘vivid’s’ painting series are  minimal abstraction creative spray paint an obvious influence of graffiti in his book about the pieces explains it as a form of posthumanism i.e  posthuman creation, the lack of human intervention.

After rewatching the talk that was filmed for the Hauser and Wirth show, Ruby talks about the dichotomy between the preplanning of the works through theory and contextualization and the idea of  innate gesture without planning and also how his works were formerly all over the place, working with different context and materials and that he enjoyed that people dubbed his work ‘schizophrenic’ This became part of his former which he feels may be a hallmark of his generation. I can see the connections between his work and my own in this respect. I use various materials and pull influence from various contexts all pieces are intrinsically linked. Its the nature of the world we live in, its a chaotic place, we receive a barrage of information constantly whether just walking down the street through advertising and noise or event in our homes with the TV, internet and social media.


Blair Zaye