Bio provided by Ruby City 

Using typography and digital imaging technology, Chuck Ramirez isolated and decontextualized familiar objects and texts to explore the human condition. Always personally relevant, Ramirez explored cultural identity, mortality and consumerism through his photographs and installations.

Inspired by the way that Ramirez was able to transform everyday objects and separate materials from their situational contexts, our staff photographed their prized possessions in the artist’s style. Scale, color and texture were key components in both Ramirez’s work and our staff’s reinterpretations.

Ruby City invites you to photograph your favorite items just like Ramirez. Make sure to tag us by using #ChuckRamirezChallenge!

Photo Caption: Watch Tia Chuck, a short documentary about Ruby City artist Chuck Ramirez.

About Ruby City

Ruby City is a contemporary art center in San Antonio, TX, dedicated to providing a space for the city’s thriving creative community to experience works by both local and internationally-acclaimed artists. Envisioned in 2007 by the late collector, philanthropist and artist Linda Pace, Ruby City presents works from Pace’s own collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works. The new building, designed by renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE is part of a campus, which also includes Chris Park, a one-acre public green space named in memory of Pace’s son, and Studio, an auxiliary exhibition space which presents curated shows and programming throughout the year. Ruby City is free and open to the public.

For the  #CollectionPick series, Ruby City asks members of our community to reflect on specific artworks in Ruby City’s permanent collection and share why these works speak to them. Rebekah Hurst, one of Ruby City’s Visitor Service Associates, explains her pick:

Pick a few works you like in our collection. 

White 1 and White 2 by Chuck Ramirez.

How would you describe these work in 3 words? 

Soft, minimal, familiar.

Why does this work stand out to you?

These works in particular subvert the collective idea of what is valuable and worth cherishing. Not only do they ask us to question what is worthy of being the subject of an artwork, they seem to paint a deeper picture about excess, waste and what we take for granted. It’s very amusing to see visitors interact with this work because their first question is usually “Why would they photograph trash?!” and I think a great follow up is “Why not?”. And if you look really closely, you’ll see the thousands of tiny dots that make up this digital durst print.

What other artists does this piece remind you of? Why? 

Chuck Ramirez reminds me of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. They both had very sentimental ways of looking at ready-made objects and used them to speak volumes about our personal lives and social issues. They both approached their subjects with minimalist setups which isolated and amplified the objects. Both Ramirez and Gonzalez-Torres made work addressing sexual orientation and the AIDS crisis; these works shared honest perspectives about things that weren’t openly spoken about at the time. Their artworks revealed a deeper truth: that we all desire and experience the same things, like love and loss.

Ruby City wants to know what works you LOVE in their collection and why. Submit your answers in the google forms link below: