I Just Want to Have Beautiful Dreams
This painting depicts a figure that resembles the artist, sitting among a number of burning tires. The subject gazes at the viewer, seemingly undisturbed by the fire covering his body.
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.
Conrad Ruíz was born in 1983. The artist received an MFA from the California College of the Arts in the Bay Area of California.
Solo exhibitions of Ruíz’s work have taken place at: Galerie Droste in Paris, France (2022); Nino Mier Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2021); Ochi Projects in Los Angeles, California (2019); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara, California (2015); Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco, California (2009, 2012); and Yautepec Gallery in Mexico City, Mexico (2011).
Group exhibitions that have shown Ruíz’s work have taken place at: M+B in Los Angeles, California (curated by BOZOMAG in 2022); The Pit in Los Angeles, California (2021); No Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2019); Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, California (2018); the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California (2018); and the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, California (2018).
Ruíz lives and works in Los Angeles, California.