GABBY RUIZ models Gypsy Sport SS18 jewelry
inside of her latest art installation titled HAUS
On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I met up with @Leather.Papi at her art show in Lil Tokyo.
I found out that we grew up just blocks away from each other, in the San Fernando Valley part of LA. We clicked instantly, probably because of our similar childhoods, as chubby artistic kids growing up in a traditional Mexican household, trying to adapt into White-American culture, and keeping queer little secrets. Lol. I really love her personal style, her sexually charged art, and her positive outlook on everything. Here's Gabby wearing some of our SS18 jewelry and answering a few questions about herself.
Ok, who is she?
"I'm Gabriela Ruiz a multi media and performance artist from SFV/Los Angeles. I'm the designer of Leather Papi... I am Mexican, Chicana, I am many things, but being Latinx you get stereotyped into being one type of Latino, and there are so many subcultures in LA. I don’t want to be boxed into being one type of artist, because we’re versatile, and that’s what I want to express. I am into so many different scenes, punk shows, raves, house parties, kink clubs – I don’t just do one thing."
That's cool! What is your biggest inspiration?
"Porn lol. Definitely kink and queer culture."
How did you come up with the concept for your first solo show, HAUS?
"Haus is an installation of 5 monochromatic rooms in red, yellow, green, pink, and blue. I think a house is very intimate, you don't invite many people to your house, your house is sacred. To me my art is intimate, so letting you see this was a very vulnerable experience. Each room represents a different mood, and everything is monochromatic because I really love working with color. Welcome to my HAUS."
Your art feels like I'm looking at it through teary eyes, either from laughing or crying too hard. Everything looks bright and bubbly and familiar, but also creepy and gross! How did you make it all?
"I curated and built everything in the house by myself or with the help of my friends and family. All the furniture pieces are up-cycled from my own bedroom or local thrift stores and plastered with insulation foam, and glossy paint. The sculptures morph into blurred visions of normal house hold items. It's just a vibe. I want to show people that you don’t need a degree to be an artist. It’s just finding your own resources and using them to express yourself."
There's lots of sexuality in your work. Why?
"Sex is a huge part of my life, its the thing I resonate with most. I was trying to figure out how to combine my background, as a queer Mexican, with my interests in sex positivity, fetishes and kink. Most people are easily offended by sexual matters, but I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m using this platform as an artist, as a form of expression. Everyone has the right to express themselves freely and positively. Not everyone is going to like what i do, but there’s no need to put negativity onto others. Art is love."
Gabriela Ruiz photographed in Little Tokyo by Bibs Moreno. Gypsy Sport © 2017