Esther Ruiz Interview - The Hopper Prize

Esther Ruiz

Esther Ruiz on finding inspiration in the unexpected, coffee & NPR in the studio, admiration for the work of contemporaries & an interest in art that began in grade school.

How did you get into making art?

I’ve been deeply interested in art since I was in grade school. After some indecision in college, I finally declared an art major and never looked back. I moved to New York shortly after and began my art practice.

What are you currently working on?

I recently moved so I am currently setting up my new studio space. I’m in a couple group shows in D.C., Richmond and another in Brooklyn this summer. I’m working on some more sphere-shaped neon pieces at the moment.

I've been deeply interestd in art since I was in grade school.

Esther Ruiz

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

It’s funny, I found a giant foam sphere at a thrift store in 2019. I morphed by wall series by adding the mirror and neon to the sphere and it has propelled me into a new series of sphere-shaped neon works.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

If I have a show coming up that usually directs the work. But I usually have a few ideas I’m working out at any time.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

The studio day always starts with lots of coffe and NPR. Then orgainizing my thoughts and planning out what I hope to get done for the day. Sometimes this involves more planning and ordering amterials and other days it is simply working; cutting, sanding, painting, and always lots of figuring.

Who are your favorite artists?

I admire a lot of my friends work; Amanda Martienez, Kristy Luck, Mark Sengbusch, Anne Vieux and Clinton King. I also love Elaine Cameron-Weir, Ann Green Kelly, Diane Simpson, Charles Harlan and some heaby hitters like Eva Hesse, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Keith Sonnier.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

I try to see as many gallery and museum shows to learn abotu new artists. As well as open studios.

Esther Ruiz is an artist based in Brooklyn who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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