Many artists find it natural to either follow classical schools or find inspiration in the modern arts. But Brooklyn-based artist Ruby Sky Stiler embraces the debris of early antiquity and reconstructs it into new, contemporary forms. The results are cubist-like assemblage of parts that inhabit the border between high art and kitsch. Stiler, a contributor to the work of Swiss multimedia artist Olaf Breuning, experiments with sculpture, two-dimensional forms as well as pottery while mimicking the ancients. To mimic in this case is not negative, but an important part in these fabrications which reference the Greco-Roman ideals that artists have automatically inherited.
Ruby Sky Stiler studies the classical forms through various textbooks before reworking them and bringing them to her own territory. She also looks to modern work like Picasso’s concrete sculptures and Louise Nevelson’s assemblages. But is imitation a form of flattery? The artist has a habit of using inexpensive industrial materials for her work, e.g. foam, acrylic resin, and polymer adhesive, which can simulate more expensive material. Oddly enough, the cheap material does not appear to cheapen the imagery, but rather bring it to the current art scene. This faux-ancient imagery is telling of the way we look at art history—how we form our ideas of past eras by the scraps that are left and make our vision whole despite having missing pieces.