R.W Ruehlen

Artist Bio/Statement.

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Artists Statement


My works are manifestations, or “Mindscapes”, that express spirituality, psychological trauma, bliss, disassociation, humor, fear, duality, oneness and isolation. It is a concentration of the feminine and masculine energy, the need to uncover and nurture, the meticulousness of line and flow and the desire to see not only holistically but from lost or broken standpoints.


I believe our society has become bright, colorful, dynamic and overloaded with information only to disguise the ugly, the fragmented, the oppressed and the void in our modern lives. I use bright, bold colors to captivate the viewer, as modern technology has, but I do not use it to veil the strange, painful, or forgotten: I use it to call it out; to exercise it; to exorcise it.


I have begun to call my art “techno-mysticism”, which conjures up my deep connection with the old world, my current entanglement with 21st century isolation and technology, and the unknown environment of the future. The imagery I create is not my own but is given to me in times of silence, in meditation, in thoughtful awareness, observation and through the spirits of the past. I tend to use dark, crisp lines and saturated hues to create a balance of fragmentation and interconnectedness, which I feel encapsulates our zeitgeist.


My characters take on androgynous forms and my landscapes littered with humor; like flying penises and robotic babies. I capture transcendental experiences like the awakening of myriads of hidden people in this shell I call a body, or dream experiences where I spend moments in flight or in strange carnivals of lust and disorder, violence and stillness where people morph into other animals and vice versa.


I was interested in art from an early age and was deeply encouraged by my mother throughout my youth to continue working in such a manner. I was and continue to be highly influenced by my childhood environment; the high plains of Kansas and its vast openness and nearly endless expanse of wheat fields, tall grass and bright blue sky. This environment played not only a positive role in developing my creativity but also a negative one, through the social boundaries that were stifling to my psyche and personal growth. My goal is to balance those positive and negatives in a holistic manner so the work remains honest to my vision.