I fell in love with Gina Ruggeri's work during an afternoon of open studios in Queens a couple years ago. In prison terms Ruggeri makes illusion her bitch, and for a few sweet moments she lets the rest of us out of our perceptual cells. All painting is a lie so why not just blow off the doors, take it to court, and commit full-on perjury. Put me away, please.
Hole (installation view); acrylic on Mylar; 42 x 82 inches; 2005
I like to think of Ruggeri's paintings as escapist. They often feel as though they're portals into some other place. That's not to say that it's necessarily a safer or better place. It's just other. At first there's a certain sadness and excitement in the possibility. Then maybe a bit of fear. The longer I look at these works the thin membrane between what I know and what I'm seeing doesn't quite dissolve, but it's molecular structure feels like it's shifting. A confusing and delicious thing.
Overgrowth; acrylic on Mylar; 41 x 87 inches; 2005
The perceptual assault is only half the fun here. In the end, these are beautiful and beautifully-executed paintings. Throw away the key.
Rockpath; oil on canvas; 70 x 72 inches; 2005
Click on the pics to make 'em pop.