September 21, 2019 - February 15, 2020
Gabriela Ruiz: Full of Tears is the first solo museum exhibition of multidisciplinary artist and designer Gabriela Ruiz, also known as Leather Papi. Speculating on the mechanics of memory and the intersections of technology and emotion, Ruiz uses 3-D rendering, video mapping, and installation to investigate questions of the self. For this exhibition, Ruiz creates a digital self-portrait amidst an immersive gallery space incorporating sound and color. In a surrealist line of inquiry, Ruiz posits on the persistence of memory, automatism, and the self-conscious.
Ruiz is a self-taught artist whose practice blends diverse forms of creative expression, including sculpture, video, and social media platforms to self-fashioned costuming for performances and apparel design. Within her work, she creates vivid, monochromatic environments that function as installations, settings for performances, or as backdrops for fashion shoots. Her sculptures incorporate thrift store furniture pieces that are up-cycled with insulation foam and glossy paint, while her garments incorporate screen prints and embellished details. Ruiz also regularly collaborates with other artists and designers as a model.
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Gabriela Ruiz (b. 1991) has presented her work in art institutions, nightlife venues, and through public interventions. Group exhibitions include You don't control the witness at ltd los angeles (2019) and Ecdysis at ltd los angeles and Museum aan de Stroom (Antwerp, Belgium) (2019); Liberate the Bar! Queer Nightlife, Activism, and Spacemaking at ONE Gallery (West Hollywood, CA) (2019); Pasado Mañana at Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles, CA) (2018); and Building Bridges in Times of Walls: Chicano/Mexican Art from Los Angeles to Mexico at Gran Galería de Acapulco (2019), Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (2019), Museo de las Artes de la Universidad de Guadalajara (2019-2020), and Centro Cultural Tijuana (2020). Her performance Cruz Azul was presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2018, where she also collaborated with artist Rafa Esparza on his exhibition de la Calle. Named after her moniker “Leather Papi,” Ruiz’s fashion line was founded in 2014 and includes gender-neutral designs inspired by BDSM culture and mixes kink, queer, and Mexican iconographies. She has been the subject of digital and print features in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, GOOD Magazine, Hyperallergic, KCET, and Remezcla, among others.