Christian Ruiz Berman
St. Louis, Missouri (hometown is Mexico City)
My work is an exploration of the ways that things like history, culture, language, and symbols are constantly subject to remix, hybridization, and reinvention. I am particularly interested in poetry, irreverence, and innovation. My painting work mashes up digital-age aesthetics with archaeology and magical realism and strives to compile both a highly personal codex and a set of new directions for Mexican-American painting.
How does the region influence your art?
I am a product of crossing borders. My natural states are displacement and adaptation. My brother lives and works in Tucson, and I lived on the California border for years. The Southwest feels to me like the home that I’ve never had, and may never have. I’m as resilient as creosote and as soft as cactus blossoms. I am at once a Charro and a child of the New England woods. I carry the genes of Spaniards, Indigenous Americans, Gypsies, slaves, and Germans, though I don’t quite look or sound like any of them. I have no native language. As Aurora Levins Morales said, “I am new. There is no going back. I am whole.” The fight of the immigrant is my fight. I fight for the traveler- for the chameleon- for the border crosser- for the undefined.