The human subject is a repository of observations and memory and a vehicle for social and political engagement. It can represent a meeting of minds, a quiet and mysterious interior life as potent as the external reality which shapes and sometimes threatens it.
With his drawings and paintings, Paul Ruiz explores the idea of ausencia humana, conceiving human studies in the ‘absence’ of the human subject. To explore ausencia is to find a place where human story, memory and imagination merge and sometimes collide with physical reality. In responding to ausencia Ruiz uses the surface like a terrain for mapping out what is remembered, what is known, and what is felt about being close to another person.
These works have been made with a range of media; charcoal, pastel, acrylic or oil paints. To varying degrees each surface is layered, scraped back and re-layered so as to document a process of seeing, responding and rethinking the human subject. The surface of each painting evolves as a journal of human curiosity and memory, of both subject and artist.