Sterling Ruby - New Now London Tuesday, December 8, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Rosenblum Collection, WYSIWYG: What You(ngs) See Is What You Get, 19 October-31 July 2011

  • Literature

    WYSIWYG: What You(ngs) See Is What You Get, exh. cat., Rosenblum Collection, Paris, 2011, p. 46-47 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Tackling a wide range of themes and topics in an equally varied array of mediums and techniques, Sterling Ruby’s artworks are arresting in their crude simplicity as much as their tactile complexity. Though his sculptures alone incorporate a broad manner of materials including bronzes, stoves, soft sculptures, urethane sculptures and ceramics, a talent at capturing the theatrical permeates much of Ruby’s creative experimentations.

    Double Vampire V, rendered in 2011, made from fabric stuffed with fibre fill is a resounding example of Ruby’s soft-sculptures. Following in the path of his American artistic predecessor, Claes Oldenburg, Ruby employs textiles to create a three-dimensional form that seems organic in its viscous or droopy appearance. In fact, it is dependent on the gravitational pull to keeps it in position. Double Vampire V is emblematic of Ruby’s Vampire series that also includes single vampire forms. In these large works grimacing mouths, ominous sharp fangs and exaggerated droplets of blood create an almost abstract decorative form – heightened by the nonrepresentational use of coloured or patterned materials. In Double Vampire V this effect is further highlighted by the duplication of the mouth in an interconnected form.

    Harking back to the Rolling Stones’ tongue-and-lips symbol that became emblematic of Rock and Roll American culture, Ruby’s reassessment of these animated teasing lips is certainly far more menacing. Often interpreted as a nod towards the transgression of American culture, Ruby’s work can certainly be seen as a comment on an overly consumptive and gluttonous culture that permeates our generation more widely. Like the vampire’s eternal thirst, we too are consumed by the curse of wanting and desire. Thus, by extracting and ostracising the mouth away from any other facial features, Ruby gives form to hunger itself; a hunger without a conscience.


Double Vampire 5

fabric and fibre
352 x 587 x 24 cm (138 5/8 x 231 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Signed 'Sterling Ruby' on an artist's label stitched to the reverse.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Head of Sale
+44 207 318 4065

New Now

London Auction 9 December 2015 2pm