MARITZA RUIZ-KIM

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

In Real Life

IRL – In Real Life

These are portraits, five of artist friends and one of me. I knew them because of and through social media, and had only met two of them in person before I finished these. The piece titled Pleasant Hill, CA, is named after my suburb town in the San Francisco Bay Area and it stands in for me. I sourced text from each artist’s personal Facebook page, looking for what seemed to capture the essences of the artists’ work that I had come to know. I used the blend of earthy (wood, wax, silk tissue) and metal (aluminum sheeting, nails) to make tangible  the long distance of natural land between us as well as the electronic miles-erasing  connection we had made.

IRL: Internet Real Life: Bushwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, 2013
IRL: Internet Real Life: Paragraph Gallery, Kansas City, 2014

Here are the simple words I sourced directly from my artist friends’ Facebook pages. I felt something from these words of theirs, though they are taken out of context in these pieces. But still… I believe they captured something about each artist friend. The words in the titles are followed by the number of miles between my home and each of theirs.

Clockwise starting on the upper-left:

• Searching, 2892 miles away: this artist has an ongoing project of finding phrases that earn no returned pages on Google

• Any illusions, 2893 miles away:  this artist works with light

• Some pressure, 1795 miles away: this artist is counting thousands of hours towards a long-term project

• Pleasant Hill, CA: me!

• So much more, 2919 miles away: this artist had just finished a series about homes destroyed during Hurricane Sandy

• Fully encatted, 2891 miles away: this artist often channels animals as forms to express complex emotional states