Luis Manuel Ruiz 1966 b. New York, New York. Ruiz lived in the United States and Puerto Rico during his youth, and recognizes the differences as well as the correlations that exist between the two cultures. His work investigates the artistic tradition in the Caribbean amongst Afro-Caribbean, and Pre-Columbian cultural influences and the socio-economic impact of North America's acquisition of the island during the Spanish-American war. Ruiz served in the U.S. military during the Sandinista revolution in Central America and experienced imperialist effects firsthand in these nations. Tensions between increasing prosperity, censorship, disregard of human rights and the environment in Latin American nations along with Puerto Rico's dependence on the U.S. as the island shifts toward statehood are addressed. Figurative and surreal images based on the correlations between humanity and nature in the Caribbean and their legacies are the means of expression that have fueled Ruiz's work in the past 25 years. He holds a B.F.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso in graphic design, sculpture and Latin American art history. The artist currently lives and works in El Paso, Texas.
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