Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rusty Scruby


Linear Charge Density, 26" x 19" x 2", Charcoal on Paper Construction, 2012

A re-post of my article in ModernHouston.net in June 2012.

I first encountered Scruby’s work at Pan America Gallery when they were in Dallas. I was captivated by his ability to create these highly crafted cut-out, interlocking photos of the same image. His arrangement was more like cubist art with some reference to weaving. I have watched his work over the years become more complex in structure and content.

In his recent show at Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas, he created interlocking circles that were portraits of people. Normally, these kinds of portraits remind me of the mundane K-Mart photos, but Scruby re-imagined these images into blurry, undefined people. His method of cut-outs reinvented these subjects into almost digitized abstraction, only Scruby is not limited by the pixel. He has taken a similar approach to his Cherry Blossom series, showing now at the McMurtrey Gallery. Although, the works about the sky don’t feel so mundane as the source material. These works feel more moody and dramatic. Even though Scruby abstracts the images, the Texas sky seems to shine through the backgrounds. Much like his portraits, his focus is on centralized objects that he tends to frame as a focal point. His flower pieces remind me of pointillism art or a blur effect in Photoshop, but really this is caused by the connected images of circles and the simplified colors of each puzzle piece.

His cube network pieces reflect urban structures and the images on the cubes flow between natural structures of trees to a snapshot of power lines. These two subjects seem more like silhouette photos, but in reality he has made beautifully rendered charcoal drawings. I would venture to guess he made the drawings before he assembled the cubes, but this just illustrates his mathematical precision in lining up his drawings. Every time I see his cube network pieces I am astonished and amazed at the precision and machine like repetition he is able to achieve.

Rusty Scruby wants us to awaken like Rip Van Winkle to a new world that has passed us by. Looking back at his old work, there are basic structures that have remained constant in his work, but like a revolution, his work has evolved and changes in exciting ways. His show of Cube Network and Cherry Blossoms will be up until July 7th at the McMurtrey Gallery.

ModernHouston.net for more pictures.

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