Sterling Ruby - SP272 (1), SP272 (2), 2014, spray paint on synthetic canvas

SP272 (1), SP272 (2)

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spray paint on synthetic canvas
160 x 235 1/4 x 2 in. (406.4 x 597.54 x 5.08 cm)

About This Artwork

Sterling Ruby’s paintings SP272 (1) and SP272 (2) form a massive diptych of an apocalyptic sunset, a span of gritty beauty almost forty feet in length. These are foreboding surfaces, portraying a disaster soon to come or just coming into view on a smoky horizon. Ruby makes these works by spraying dozens of cans of paint onto the canvas while intuitively calibrating their overall effect. He describes the process as thousands of gestures becoming atmosphere, an idea inspired by the call-and-response exchanges between the graffiti writers and the city’s white washers near his first studio in Los Angeles. For Ruby, this is a move toward the chaos and primal flux that serves as the root of art making. He seeks a transitional state, the space between freedom and imprisonment in which the contemporary self often resides.