Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

T.H.o.U. Art

Here’s a landing page for the artwork (in progress and completed) that relates to The History of Us (T.H.o.U.) project. As for work that’s been done before today, I’m pulling from two recent series, It’s Personal and Mí Poligrafa. Don’t ask me if an artist’s work should belong squarely in one series or another… I don’t know! All I know is, these all relate on some level with this inquiry of mine. My abstract paintings do also, but not as obviously, so I’m not including them here. ~Maritza

America, America!

Audio is from border recordings of children Texas 2018, May Day in Chicago 2006 (credit: Ignotus at Free, refugee rights protest London 2016. “Say it Loud Say it Clear” “Refugees are Welcome Here” “¿Que queremos?” “Legalicicion”

My heart is still beating even though time stood still the moment I found out my nephew was killed in Afghanistan, And war goes on. Core footage taken 7 Oct 2013 at National September 11 Memorial in NYC, on the 12th anniversary of the start of the US war in Afghanistan. I used several postcards purchased at the Museum of Modern Art… Jasper Johns’ “Flag”… I arranged them on the ground under the trees at the 9/11 memorial, then I walked in circles around the flags taking iPhone video, getting more and more dizzy. When I returned home, I printed my own series of flags and used them for the top layers of this video, with the original video showing as the very bottom layer. To make this, I placed an iPad on top of a full (uncut) American flag, then covered it with my printed flags before shooting this video. 

Watercolor Study:

A Toxic Relationship Undermines Many People & the Unwitting Spectators Acquiesce

work in progress, 2019

I didn’t know you’d cheat on me.
OK, I knew.
But I didn’t know you’d be unashamed.
Well, I sort of knew.
I knew you wouldn’t be great for me.
But I didn’t know it would be this bad.
It felt so right!
How could it be so wrong?
I wanted you to save me, I thought you were The One.
Why do you make everything about you?
Even when you say you’re taking care of me, even then you only do what benefits you.
But I’ll take it.
Is it wrong to give up so much for so little?
If that’s what it takes, I’ll do it. I’m desperate.
I made excuses for you about the others.
When it came to me, I thought you’d be different.
Now here we are.
Even so, I’ll stay by your side. Use me, I’ll use you.
That’s the deal, right?
But did you ever care about me like you said?
Actually, I don’t care about love.
People think I’m crazy to stick with you.
They don’t know what I want or what I’ll do to get it.
I know I’m right.
Because I’m right, everything I do is right.
That’s why you’re right for me.
And that’s all that matters.

Digital Print: This is Me, This is Me (Not Listening)

digital print with wax, 18″ x 24″, 2018

The text below is from the left side of the piece from the perspective of the viewer.

This is Me/ This is about who is best/ Can’t you see I need power/

I see you weak because you are weak/ My strength is my protection/ You think you’re so smart/ I know better/

I never liked you/ You look bad/ You don’t even take care of yourself/ You aren’t curious, you’re argumentative/ You aren’t smart, you’re empty/ You aren’t beautiful, you’re nothing/ You aren’t friendly, you’re stupid/ You’re so sensitive/ I knew you’d react like this/

You wanted this/ You’re entitled/ I’ve earned what I have/ This doesn’t belong to you/ None of this is yours/ I don’t want to hear you/ Stop complaining/ If you want it, get it yourself/ If you got it, you stole it/ You don’t deserve what I have/ I’ll tell you what you deserve/ You don’t deserve anything/

What about me/ I’ve done good things/ You don’t thank me/

I’ll tell you what’s wrong/ You’re what’s wrong/ I don’t want you here/ You came here to take/ You are conniving/ You want too much/ You are a big problem/ Your problems are your fault/ Stop talking to me about doing you wrong/ Stop talking to me about learning more/ Stop talking to me about forgetting things/ Stop talking to me about what you deserve/ You always complain/ You complain because you’re weak/ Your complaints don’t matter/ I’ll tell you what matters/ I won’t listen to you/ You listen to me/ Nobody’s done you wrong/ You’re what’s wrong with you/ I never did anything wrong/ You’re causing problems/ Nobody ever hurt you/

You need to know your place/ You don’t belong next to me/ You don’t belong here/ If you come closer, you’re a threat/ If you don’t move, I’m suspicious/ If you run away, I’m enraged/

I’ll show you/ I’m in control/ I’ll speak/ You’ll do what I say/ You don’t belong here/ I’ll keep belonging here

The text below is from the right side of the piece from the perspective of the viewer.

This is Me/ This should be about what is best/ Can’t you see you tower over me

I know what’s strong and what’s weak/ Your strength pushes me back/ You don’t even know me/ I know what I know/

I never liked this/ I know how you see me/ I ‘ve always taken care of myself/ I just want you to hear me/ I just want you to know something/ I just want to be valued/ I just want to be seen/ How I react is normal/ What I feel is real/

I didn’t want this/ Don’t take away what I have/ I want credit for what I’ve earned/ What I have belongs to me/ I have what I have/ My voice is something/ I will keep talking/ I will keep living/ I will keep working/ I want my own life/ I’m telling you what I deserve/ I deserve what I’m owed/

What about me/I’ve done good things/ You don’t think about me/

You tell me what’s wrong/ That’s what’s wrong/ I want to be here/ I’m here because I’m me/ I want something/ I am hopeful/ The problem is big/ The problem is not me/ You can’t hear your wrongs/ You can’t hear if you don’t want to know/ You can’t hear what you can’t see/ You can’t hear what I need/ I keep talking/ I keep talking because I am strong/ I matter/ What I say matters/ Listen to me/ You’re always talking/ I know what feels wrong/ I am not the problem/ You never listened/ You’re ignoring problems/ You never asked what hurt me

I know my place/ I belong where I am/ I belong where I am/ If I come closer, you’re threatened/ If I don’t move, you’re suspicious/ If I run away, you’re enraged/

Let me show you/ Let me control my life/ Let me talk to you/ Let me be/ I belong where I am/ I belong to myself


Maritza Ruiz-Kim
Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

I ask a lot of why questions, along with how, what for, and who are you/who am I questions. I make pictures and write things to make sense of what’s happening around me. I learn all sorts of fascinating things as I go about my days and I’m presenting as much as I can for you here.

I believe in a patriotism that has courage to tell the whole story of who we are as a nation, from celebrated accomplishments to murky contradictions. I believe in loving my country and rejecting any notion that fear or hate should define us.

So, welcome to this place where I’ll store all things related to my intention to make work that personalizes how we relate with each other when dominant social forces push us far from the ideals many of us claim to have.


Located in the Diablo Valley Region 
of the San Francisco Bay Area

598 Patterson Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523