Javier Ruiz López Spanish, b. 1959
“(…) The work, fundamentally landscape-themed, is done in cold shades, grey-blue and dark ochre, but this should not distract from the other pigments in the work, since in a very rich palette, all the colours of the rainbow show up timidly but fairly, achieving truly outstanding effects. This work is full of sensitivity and lyricism that will be very much appreciated by those who seek more than just what the eye sees or a simple reflection of nature; this work manages to touch on the intimacy and inner world we all carry inside and that Javier Ruiz knows how to find.”
It was in 1973 when I was 14 years old that I told my parents I wanted to leave school and dedicate my life to painting. Early on I had been drawing a fair bit; I was interested in using coloured pencils, and the way in which by rubbing them on rough paper, if done softly, there was still room for other colours. Moreover, for me this was a dream of working in what I liked. Back then in Spain, where everything was about duty, I was drawn to the idea of pursuing a profession in which to feel truly free.
I recall Salvador Dalí on television talking with such unimaginable audacity during the military dictatorship in Spain. I remember that I was taken to the doctor because I always observed things with my mouth wide open.
My father was good and fast at drawing, with great imagination, but he decided not to follow this path because he thought it was difficult to make a living from it. I was made to continue studying and even start the first year of law at university, although I dropped out to focus on painting. I was not interested in law in the slightest. I understand that laws are a set of rules that allow us to live within a community, but I questioned then, as I still do now, the people who defend views according to their interests.
I therefore left Madrid and headed for a village in Andalusia (Southern Spain) to learn how to paint. I remember taking two books: One about Dalí and another one about how to use materials in the art of painting as well as pictorial representation techniques. I had two exhibitions in this village, and in the second one I sold all of my paintings. That was when I realised I had to focus entirely on painting and leave aside any other option.
From then on I was greatly motivated and I spent time and put great effort into having my paintings in places that I was interested in. This was a way to make good contacts and build up a solid body of work. My work is present in almost all of the Spanish banking sector.
In 1992, I had a proposal to exhibit with other Spanish artists at the Ynguanzo gallery in Soho, New York City, but I had to turn it down because I had no paintings. I regret not having taken part, but this was the first potential agreement with an international gallery.
I have since exhibited as a solo artist in the same gallery located in Madrid and with other artists in the Arco Fair with the Levy gallery. At the same time, I also received orders from private clients and companies, always remaining clear about my objectives.
I have exhibited at the following official sites: the Cultural Centres of Véjer de la Frontera and Arcos de la Frontera in Cádiz, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and Conde Duque in Madrid.
I have had solo artist exhibitions at professional galleries such as Ynguanzo and Levy in Madrid, Nolde in Navacerrada, Clave in Murcia, Cartel in Granada, and Urdangarín in Vitoria.
Although my work could be included in the third generation of Spanish realism, this is as broad a concept as there are artists’ perspectives. There is not one rule, nor a single vision.
I enjoy solitary spaces, the outskirts of cities, what we generally neglect. That which is not useful, entices me to paint it.
What is apparent in my work is the increasing absence of the human figure and the lack of appreciation for what man can contribute to this world.
Being able to continue painting and realise that what I do coincides with the sensitivity of people with taste as I continue to explore my individual path is what inspires me every day.
My work encapsulates the silent cry in a pure contemplative state. Nothing surprises and everything is digested, nothing is criticised and everything is assumed, but in such a way that any sense of security is a chimera, any definition is equivocal, any certainty is a doubt. Essentially, this is what reality is all about. Chemistry (the building blocks of everything) changes with physics to establish order amid chaos in an incomprehensible mathematical way.
On a MDF board I print with three layers, front and back, with acrylic gesso (titanium white-polyvinyl acetate-matt plaster). Later I apply the paint with very fine layers, barely without body to be able to look for many shades without reaching the "fat". I apply oil paints in successive layers, starting with a neutral grisaille. The aim is to create fine layers on a thin pictorial skin that integrates perfectly on a porous base such that I can then work with a wide range of similar shades without reaching the oil. Only using pure oil in the last touches. When I decide to finish, after drying, I apply Talens Brand retouching varnish to enliven the color, especially the dark ones that have lost potency when they dry. My color palette is Titanium White, Medium Cadmium Yellow, Vermilion or Medium Cadmium Red, Carmine, Emerald Green, Burnt Sienna, light ultramarine blue, light cobalt blue and turquoise.