Bounced out of Bakersfield
This painting depicts a vehicle exploding while nearly vertical on its back wheels. The composition is set in an arena, where onlookers watch the destruction.
About Conrad Ruíz's work, Isabella Pigoni Miller writes: “For the past [few] years, Ruíz has worked with watercolor paint to produce arresting representations of people and machines engulfed by fire. The fluidity of watercolor paint, as opposed to acrylic or oil, imparts a visual imprecision that recalls the blur of photographs taken in motion, or the distorting effects of light as filtered through flame. His paintings, when viewed from afar, take on a realist allegiance to illusionistic space. But when viewed up close, the artist’s brushstrokes supersede their context, similar to how pixels, noise, or grain overpower their scenes in blown-up photographs. Like the properties of fire itself, Ruíz’s surfaces contain a tension between the material and the immaterial, the abstract and the figural."
Conrad Ruíz’s watercolor paintings are arresting representations of people and machines engulfed by fire. The artist pulls from a vast archive of photographic and pixelated digital material—rendering his compositions in fluid watercolor to mimic the blur of motion and light distortion effects in photos. Seemingly a realistic portrayal of space from afar, Ruíz’s compositions seen up close are overwhelmed by the artist’s brushstrokes in the manner of pixels or noise in blown-out and grainy photographs.