One look at Brazilian artist Joao Ruas work is enough to see that even nightmares can be beautiful. Figures that are at once uncanny and attractive come to life under his watchful eye. With a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a unique aesthetic vision, Ruas creates haunting pieces of art, often on very small surfaces, which frequently convey themes of disembodiment and emptiness.
It’s easy to see why his work is highly sought after by private collectors; each of his pieces begs the viewer to imagine a deep, dark universe where such a scene might take place. His greatest strength as an artist might be the ability to bring about the suspension of disbelief in his audience – one could, if they gaze long enough, find a way to believe that these figures exist somewhere.
Although human representations make up a large part of his work, Ruas is equally capable at representing the animal kingdom in dynamic but dystopic ways. Snarling, protective canines and noble yet macabre horses are among his most striking studies. With animals, as with his human characters, Ruas makes additions as well as subtractions that both contribute to a sense of spiritual chaos – exposed bones and missing parts as well as others that shouldn’t be there are all part of his vision. While Ruas may take something away from the characters in his worlds, there’s no doubt that in the greater scheme of things he is adding something enticingly dark to ours.
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