Sterling Ruby is an American multi-disciplinary artist. He is well known for his layered ceramic work, large canvases, urethane sculptures, nail polish sketches, collage and films. Ruby’s work stands on its own as an intensive form of power that attacks the mediums he engages in and society at the same time. Through examining the world of those that exist at the outskirts, marginalized populations, graffiti, war, the occult and prison his works explodes into new frontiers.
Sterling Ruby was born on an American military base in Bitburg, Germany to a Dutch mother and an American father. His family relocated to the United States shortly after his birth, first to Baltimore, Maryland, and then to the rural town of New Freedom, Pennsylvania. There he attended the largely agrarian Kennard Dale High School. After graduating from high school, Ruby worked in construction in Washington D.C.
While living in Pennsylvania, he attended an unaccredited art school, The Pennsylvania School of Art and Design. From Pennsylvania, the artist relocated to Illinois where in 2001 he received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2003, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the MFA program at Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena, California. During his time there he studied with artist Richard Hawkins, and theorists Sylvère Lotringer and Laurence Rickels. During that time he was also the teaching assistant for artist Mike Kelley. Sterling Ruby currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Ruby has exhibited at many notable art institutions, including the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Saatchi Gallery, London.