Alongside a personal selection of photographs by Mapplethorpe, American artist Sterling Ruby creates new collages entitled Transcompositional and shows sculptures in various materials including several from the series Acts.
Ruby's work explores control and the concealment of subjectivity. His collages entitled Transcompositional are based on maximum-security prisons like Pelican Bay and Guantanamo. Yet there is almost nothing in them that refers to isolation or prison life. The collages consist of a pattern of nail varnish on a background of mirrored paper. They also contain photographs of transsexuals. The relationship of the artist with his subject is far from clear. Is he playing the role of a predator? A prisoner? A schizophrenic? Ruby also examines the formal beauty of Mapplethorpe's work and also raises questions about the motives of the artist. Does he want to create distance from his subjects? Is he a collector? Are flowers, penises and bodies one and the same for him?
Sterling Ruby (1972) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. In 2008, his solo exhibitions included Supermax 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CHRON at the Drawing Center, New York and Kiln Works at Metro Pictures, New York. Recent group exhibitions include Substraction at Deitch Projects, New York (2008), the Moscow Biennial (2007), the California Biennial and Red Eye: LA Artists at the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2006).
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