We are so excited to bring you this wonderful interview with Esther Ruiz For the start of Art Basel Miami Beach 2015! Scroll down to read more and to see where you can see Esther’s work in Miami during the fair.
On important life decisions and why sometimes it’s ok to wait to make them:
I’ve always been interested in art, I wanted to be an art teacher when I was 8 years old, took formal oil painting lessons when I was 12, and then I was the art club president for 3 years in high school. But I guess I didn’t decide to become a “real artist” until I transferred colleges for the third time and declared a studio art major. I bounced around from English Literature and poetry to abnormal psychology to religious studies because my mother wouldn’t allow me to major in studio art. I never really had support in this decision so, I knew when I finally made that declaration, I was ready.
On affirmations on choosing to be an artist:
Support from professors and peers I really admire is the best. But also being asked to be in shows with galleries whose programming I feel fits with me is so nice. To feel like ‘yes, this is a good fit and I’m happy to show with you and your artists’.
On overcoming doubt:
Three months into my first studio lease in New York, I freaked. With no real trigger except I just didn’t think I could do it. I broke my lease and moved everything home. Funnily enough though, I only lasted a month working at home before I got another studio; I couldn’t not make work. I haven’t felt that low since.
Influences, art or otherwise:
Star Wars. Haha. I love looking at outer space landscapes. I like to think of my “settings” as landscapes form other planets or unknown frontiers. Geology. I love that rocks tell time. I actually came to my current body of work from looking at core samples. Geometry. It’s everywhere, it’s simple, it’s beautiful.
Turrell, Sol Lewitt, Keith Sonnier and Lee Ufan among others. They make such beautifully simple structures and spaces that always astound me. And while their structures may look simple at first they’re all so specific and rely heavily on accuracy and math. Everything is chosen with care and intentionality. I’m a stickler for precision myself.
On personal aesthetic:
Minimal, clean, fun.
“Inspired by space operas, pop culture, geometry and the setting sun, Esther 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 distant 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. 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 in her “little parties,” as she refers to them, she creates a tiny battle over those materials’ permanence in relation to each other.” – George Ferrandi
On being a woman in the art world:
I never considered my gender when I first started showing and making work. But lately it’s been brought to my attention more and more frequently. Sometimes people point out that I’m the only woman in a group show, or that I should suggest curators include more women in shows. Sometimes people comment on how “badass” it is that I am a woman using industrial materials. And I’ve even had people say it’s cute because I’m so petite! It really doesn’t bother me though because I like who I am mostly. I’m a little Hispanic lady who makes minimal sculptures with industrial materials in New York City. I can’t help but feel I represent a lot for people, whether I want to or not.
I want the work to stand apart from me.
If you would like to see Esther’s you can visit her website or visit these upcoming exhibitions!
IRIDESCENCE, Curated by H+Creative and SP Projects during Art Basel Miami at The Shore Club
December 02 – December 06, 2015
Robert Davis & Esther Ruiz at New Release
New York City, New York
January 10 – February 11, 2016