Daniel Ruanova: FEAR IS GOD
Couturier Gallery is delighted to present the works of Mexican artist Daniel Ruanova in his first solo show at Couturier Gallery. Ruanova is noted for his sculptures made out of melted plastic gun toys and a variety of other materials and found objects he appropriates to criticize the violence dominating many societies world wide, and in particular the Mexican- American border-a reality Ruanova is familiar with, as he lives and works in Tijuana. The opening reception for the artist will be on June 20, from 6 - 8 pm.
Ruanova, born and raised in Tijuana, has witnessed the relentless violence occurring daily on the Mexican-American border. His artwork serves as a political commentary on the brutality in this part of the world as well as in others, and the way violence and fear have infiltrated peoples' lives, often shaping the identity of many societies. The collection of artworks in Ruanova's exhibition represents the cycle of aggressiveness, fear, security and violence which inspired the artist to create artworks that are conceptual by nature.
Ruanova's creative expression is saturated with sarcasm, as he often produces his work from fictional war objects such as children's toys, comic books, and superhero characters, questioning humans' obsession with violence. His use of comic books imagery is strongly referenced in his paintings, as his cartoon-like quality is expressed through illustrations of explosions, targets and camouflage. His accumulated plastic war-like objects (guns, tanks, toy soldiers) melted into various shapes and forms, causes the line between "fictional" violence and "real" violence to becomes unclear, and even more, demonstrate just how violence became a role in popular culture.
The Mexican-American border experience expressed through Ruanova's artwork also raises questions on the relationship between violence and fear in the human mind: what causes humans to become violent, fear? What precede fear, violence? Finally, why do we have the need to fictionalize violence when it is all around us? To conquer our fear perhaps?
Ruanova has exhibited his work in Proyecto Civico/Civic Project at Centro Cultural Tijuana/El Cubo; Political Mutante Politico at Arcuate Arte Contemporaneo in Monterrey, Mexico; Galeria H & H in Tijuana; Tropico de Nopal Art Space, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego; Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Art Gallery at Cal State LA; War as a Way of Life at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA; and, Viva Mexico!/Long Live Mexico! at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland.