Axel Ruiz - profile, Cracker Jacks

Axel Ruiz


January 25, 2015

Axel Ruiz is young and aspiring Puerto Rican contemporary artist, who uses a mix of styles going from drawing, comic strip and painting techniques to depict his own ludic, pixelated world. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1980, he got his education at the School of Visual Arts in Puerto Rico, graduating in 2005. In 2002, he got a fellowship award from the Arnaldo Roche Foundation.

Describing his work as ‘a beautiful exercise of chaotic freedom’, Ruiz merges humor and parody marvelously into a sophisticated pictorial language that redefines abstract in a fun way. Inspired by movies, news and video games, he creates ideas and relationships between variety of subjects and objects, which are ultimately transferred onto canvas. All his works are oil paintings that evolved from his persistent internet search for images that are consistent with the given idea, which he then manipulates and creates a digital sketch. Obsessed by Atari and Nintendo games that he played as a child, the pixelated computer leitmotiv is the most recurrent element in his artwork.

Employing humor and parody as subversive tools allows him to create ambiguity for an even more open reading, where pixelated details are always hiding a deeper meaning and criticism addressed to social and political themes. Ruiz invites the viewer to explore the intertextuality and plurality of interpretations that he proposes via his work. This unclear narrative is presented interlaced with the clash between a tangible reality and cybernetics, opening a reflection on how new media technology has managed to break the boundaries of knowledge and experience, resulting in a fascinating and accelerated evolution of popular culture.

Axel Ruiz is currently working on creating a body of work intended for his first solo exhibition.