Finding the stretching balance between chaos and order, the grandiose and intimate gestures of the work of Stirling Ruby show cracks in many aesthetic and social constructions that we take for granted.
Central exhibitExhibitions is STATE (2019), a single-channel video projection that the artist has been creating for the last five years, working with a videographer and UAVs, to take a bird's eye view of 35 adult prisons in California. Ruby turns the gallery on the ground floor into a giant black box theater, immersing viewers into investigations into the California prison system.
In the gallery upstairs, the artist presents SKULLS, a new collection of sculptural works. These oversized, animal-like skulls are actually facsimiles of the underlying armatures of Hollywood monsters. Ruby covered each of them with large bright wigs and eyes that added an element of levity to the apotropic animals. Sculptures with bare teeth and bulging eyes, causing exaggerated and heightened emotions, guard the mythical intersection between life and death, warning us about what will happen after.