Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya “Inside the Bowels of the Hoofed Beast “

Sargent's Daughters

poster for Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya “Inside the Bowels of the Hoofed Beast “
[Image: Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya "Sopa de Ostión" (detail) (2020) mariachi sombrero, white polo, toothpaste cap, vaping cartridge, topochico cap, hair, black bean silicone molds, silicone, dimensions variable]

This event has ended.

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya’s sculptures seem possessed. They haunt the viewer. Pressing questions of origin and familiarity, and transfixed with an uncanny foreignness, these figures elicit both awe and fear.

Montoya’s sublime beings are reminiscent of a Rasquache aesthetic, of collecting from here and there, brought to flesh from the abject and forgotten detritus of the desert surrounding the United States-Mexico border. These calculated gestures then become anthropomorphized and give birth to these otherworldly, illegitimate offspring; while zip ties, brooms, and twine keep these beings tied to this world as vestiges of Brown labor.

Like a curandero, he alters daily discarded forms into enchanting beasts, which shapeshift and take on their own form, like fateful nahuales who transform into jaguars.
His sculptures seem to emerge as incantations from toxic waste, reincarnated now as spiritual guides. Montoya’s bodies, therefore, subsume this landscape of refuse onto themselves: neon green zip ties and cybernetic circuit boards support their spines, clothes become repurposed as organs, and silicone is transformed to skin. The animal, the human, and the artificial become one.

Montoya’s sculptures are bound, contorted and reconfigured in such a way that they become exquisite corpses, invoking yet transcending our traditional forms of the body. In this liminal space, they demand a second look—not as alien messengers, but as reflections of ourselves and our fractured social landscape.
Text by Christal Pérez

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya (b. 1989, Parral. Chihuahua, Mexico) recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media in 2020. He is currently part of a group show titled “new waves” at Virginia MOCA. He has also exhibited at Residency Art Gallery, Inglewood, CA and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, CA. This is his first solo exhibition.

*Rasquache- Using discarded and often found objects of the everyday to create the most from the least.
*Curandero - A healer that cures illness with herbs and spiritual cleansings.
*Nahual - In Mesoamerican tradition - a person able to shapeshift into an animal.



from September 18, 2020 to October 25, 2020

Opening Reception on 2020-09-18 from 14:00 to 18:00

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