MANUEL MUÑOZ RUIZ
CREATOR OF THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL ART PIONEER AND GENIUS OF THE PALETTE KNIFE TECHNIQUE
FOUNDER OF ART DEMONSTRATIONS ON TELEVISION.
PIONEER OF ART PROGRAMS ON TELEVISION SINCE 1960.
PIONEER AND PROMOTER OF EDUCATION THROUGH TELEVISION.
CREATOR OF FIRST TV PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN.
CREATOR OF THE FIRST EDUCATIONAL TRAINING TV PROGRAM WORLDWIDE.
MANUEL RUIZ WAS THE INITIATOR OF THE FIRST TV PROGRAMS THAT DEMONSTRATED “HOW TO DO ANYTHING”, SUCH AS PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND LITHOS.
CREATOR OF THE FINGER PAINTING TECHNIQUE. 1964
PROPELLER OF THE VIDEO CLIPS, LATER USED BY THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND ALL SINGERS. RUIZ PAINTED TO THE RHYTHM OF THE MUSIC, BLENDING THE IMAGES WITH THE MUSICAL NOTES.
CREATOR OF EMBOSSING TEXT ONTO PAPER AND FABRICS, GIVING HIS TRIDI `S IMAGE TO GRAFIC ART AND CLOTHES WHICH RESULTED IN A GREAT INFLUENCE ON ART AND FASHION. THIS
TECHNIQUE WAS LATER APPLIED TO ALMOST EVERYTHING WE WEAR. BRAZIL, 1968. CREATOR OF THE SCULPTURAL BUILDINGS. 1962
CREATOR OF SPORT SHOES WITH COLOURS AND TEXT. CHICAGO 1982
FOUNDER OF THE RUIZ ART MUSEUM IN USA. WINNETKA, ILL. 1976
THE FIRST ARTIST TO BUILD HIS OWN PRIVATE ART MUSEUM WORLDWIDE.
FOUNDER OF THE FIRST PRIVATE ART MUSEUM IN THE WORLD. USA, WINNETKA, ILLINOIS, CHICAGO’S NORTH SHORE, 1976.
FOUNDER OF THE FIRST HISPANIC ART MUSEUM IN THE WORLD. USA, WINNETKA, ILL. CHICAGO’S NORTH SHORE, USA, 1976.
FOUNDER OF THE FIRST WOMEN´S ART MUSEUM IN THE WORLD. USA, WINNETKA, ILL. CHICAGO’S NORTH SHORE, 1976.
MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD IN USA BY S.A.B.A. (SPANISH AMERICAN BUSINESS ASOCIATION), CHICAGO, NOVEMBER, 1976.
GOLD METAL AWARD BESTOWED ON MANUEL RUIZ BY THE MUNICIPAL ART LEAGE, PRESENTED AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCES & INDUSTRY BY THE PRESIDENT AND COMISSIONER OF CHICAGO, FRANK W. CHESROW. 1976
CERTIFICATE OF APRECIATION AWARDED BY PRESIDENT OF USA , RONALD REAGAN. 1984.
CREATOR OF THE “RUIZ ART FOUNDATION" IN USA, CHICAGO, 1983
PRODUCER OF CULTURAL TV PROGRAMS.
SINCE 1971, RUIZ OPENED NINE ART GALLERIES IN USA AND SPAIN WHICH CONTAIN SOLEY HIS OWN WORK.
RUIZ GENEROUSLY ASSISTED NUMEROUS ARTISTS FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF COUNTRIES, WITHOUT ANY PROFIT TO HIMSELF.
SINCE 1960, RUIZ´S ART WAS DISPLAYED IN OVER 1.200 EXHIBITS THROUGHOUT ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, USA, CANADA, VENEZUELA, GREECE AND SPAIN.
SINCE 1953, RUIZ HAS PERFORMED PUBLICALLY IN OVER 10.000 DEMONSTRATIONS WITH EACH OF THE PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURS THAT HE CREATED IN FRONT OF BOTH, THE PUBLIC AND HIS CLIENTS.
SINCE 1960 RUIZ WAS INVITED TO PAINT AND SCULPT IN OVER 1.000 TV PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT 3 CONTINENTS.
BUILT UP A VAST PRIVATE ART COLLECTION.
RUIZ FALLOWS OTHERS.
Manuel Muñoz Ruiz signs all his work with only “Ruiz” and is known as Ruiz or Manuel Ruiz.
Manuel Muñoz Ruiz is a self taught, Spanish artist. He was born in the town of Peligros, Granada, Spain, on Septem ber 28, 1948. With his talent and original techniques, Ruiz has broken all the barriers of art, yet without losing any of the aesthetic values that art represents.
Still now, after 50 years, nothing like his creations can be found anywhere in the art world, not in books or in museums despite the passion and fervour which Ruiz raised since childhood. He has inspired beginners and professional artists, who continuously strive to copy him, his work remains unique.
In May 1949, his family emigrated from Spain to Argentina where Ruiz lived until the age of 18, at which time he began travelling to other countries. His idea was to explore and conquer the world with his art. For two years the family lived in Santiago del Estero until the extenuated father decided to move to CĂłrdoba, Argentina, where he settled in the countryside and brought in from Spain, both parents families to live and work with him.
1951. Cordoba, Argentina. In this photo, Manuel Ruiz is shown with his younger aunt Celia standing in fron t of a water hole for irrigation hand built by his father who was supposed to be â€œrestingâ€? at the time!.
With his first steps, Ruiz began to paint and make an impression.
His natural talent and artistic inspiration was immediately apparent in his drawings. On his fifth birthday in 1953, some of his first admirers, the neighbors, gave Ruiz four small canvases, a few tubs of paint, a brush and a small palette knife; use them only to mix colors. Ruiz immediately went into action and before their astonished eyes, he began to mix the colors and spread a massive amount of paint over the canvas! He awakened a unanimous chorus exclamation ... no! â€Ś With the palette knife, no! ... The knife is only meant to be used to mix the colors !!. Ruiz recreate the moment... "I clearly remember the excitement I felt with such a gift ... it was all new for me ... magical butâ€Ś I could do something real with this! ... But what? ... I caught a challenge that traps my imagination! â€Ś When I started painting, the complains of my parents bothered me and I burst into tears of anger because they did not let me be, I felt the need to do what I really wanted to experiment ... finally, my fathe r released me..."let it be, he is a lost cause !. " I guess, that pressure could have changed the outcome. However, I continued painting haunted by the effect of those pure tones that fulfilled my spirit with life and curiosity. I never drop the palette knife except on rare occasions to find out what could be achieved by painting with brushes or making sculptures, which also fascinates me and I did not create as many as I would have liked too.
I kept going on conviction, for pleasure and because it could only be that way and not otherwise.... not knowing that in those first strokes, I was giving life to the three-dimensional art. When I finished, they all asked my father contemptuously, 'Now, how about it ?"...to which he replied ..." interesting "... With that positive word I knew, I had made it!". These first strokes, change the idea and the concept of the form of art so far. Eventually, they influenced many trends that affect us in our daily lives, all inspired by the three-dimensional art created by Manuel Mu単oz Ruiz. Ruiz techniques later evolved in many ways without limits as per example were used by artists from classic to abstract works and incorporated into the tridimensional graphics on clothing, shoes and in many objects of our ordinary and daily use. In 1952 as fate, the young Ruiz, with a few strokes, gave a new form to art, to his life and society. With its pure beauty and at the same time contradictory bold effect overwhelm us leaving no room for analysis. Ruiz creates and raises the tridimensional art to historic and necessary. A true social phenomenon. Artist, in the late 50's throughout the 80s, only used the classical brush. People reacted skeptical to Ruiz bold tridimensional effects whilst at the same time; they find it exotic and captivating. The three-dimensional art that Ruiz created before us sometimes reached several inches in thickness. Some critics at the time denied it was a form of art. Others claim it was more a form of sculpture.
However, despite the controversy, his few detractors could not diminish Ruiz talent who continued adding unconditional followers from the first moments between those who appreciate his achievements. The prodigy child with his palette knife began to use large masses as a means of transforming matter into expression giving life to the "three-dimensional art," a lush and unique style that has revolutionized the art scene worldwide. With the creation of this exciting new concept, Ruiz changed our understanding of art. He also influenced new trends including abstract, which decades later, began using thickness looking for the three-dimensional effects that Ruiz has created. And so, â€œthe whiz kidâ€?! Went over through his childhood impressing at everybody around. In 1954, his primary school teachers had him draw daily on the blackboard and would then meet to assess and analyze what the 6 years old Ruiz had achieved. Ruiz recalls, "I was the first to be called to the board every day. When I had finished drawing the lesson, the teacher always has me sit down. They told me that was not necessary to explain it, but at the same time, they did not let me clear the board. I was disappointed and frustrated because it was unfair that the other children will be allowed to use my drawings for their lessons. But, as a good animal, I soon realized that the teachers were only interested in my drawing and I did not need to give the lesson. So, they mad e it very easy for me because before leaving for school, I only need to give a glance for few seconds to the drawings in the book and did not have to study anything else anymore, only l istening at class. At the end, it was a relieve.
During recess, the teachers use to get together to study what I had done and as they whisper between themselves, at first, I thought they had obsession with me for some reason or I may be doing something wrong. They finally explain to me that they considered I was a great artist and they admired my drawings. They also add that I would be famous, have my paintings in Museums, and will be rich and so on. But... when they saw that I did not understand what they were saying, they told me that I should not worry, I had done nothing wrong. In those times, 1954, being 6 and 7 years old and brought up mostly in the countryside of Santiago del Estero, Córdoba and at the time in the city of Rosario, Argentina, I did not understand what it meant to be an artist or to have talent, a museum or what it was to be famous. Equally I was not conscious of what I did and what was happening. I just remember that I felt uncomfortable to have everybody look on me as a freak” Ruiz father, who studied in Granada, Spain, practiced medicine in the towns of Peligros, Pulianas, Pulianillas, Guevéjar and Jun. In 1949 when Ruiz was 8 months old, the family moves to Argentina, where, his father mastered a Doctors degree. Within a few months, he was in charge to cure the bubonic plague in the Chaco Santiagueño in the north of Argentina. 1949. His father also practiced medicine at the Hospital Mixto in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. He later became Deputy Director of Health of the province of Santiago, Argentina. These were just a few of the many achievement that he left us with. Most important are the memories of his brilliant talent in both, art and music.
He was also a Professor in the School of Fine Arts of La Banda, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. As a music lover, in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1952, he founded the famous guitar factory "Casa Muñoz" in Villa Cabrera. He was also co-founder and professor of the Institute Contardo Ferrini, Córdoba, etc. 1955. His father was a sensitive person and artist at heart, but in those difficult times, he dreamed that his son would be a medical surgeon with the idea of creating a Private Clinic for which he had already designed and built the house where they lived at the time in Rosario. Doctor by profession in Spain and Argentina with an extraordinary talent, he always pushed his son to become a Doctor too. Nevertheless he finally decided to devote the last 30 years of his life to art and often ended up going the same way of his son who supported him by buying and exhibiting his works in his Galleries and Museum in America. In 1956, when he realized that Ruiz, his seven year old son was showing a great talent for art, he tries to discourage him. He challenged his son to see if he could copy a Rembrandt self-portrait. Together, they set up an easel in the garage of his home and in just 1 hour, while his father was taking a nap, Ruiz managed to paint an exact copy of the Rembrandt to the point of not believing himself what he had done nor understand haw it happened. Ruiz recalls... "I thought it was a miracle that would never happen again, I felt like inside me, someone painted whilst I was just a spectator watching ... but, I remember, I thought I could do it better... Those wrinkles I had made were very hard and I felt that with a little more time I could “soften” them up…also I could do the same with some of the shadows.
I remember clearly thinking that I could do it better.
1956. First major painting by Ruiz done it at the age of 7 years old. Copy of a selfportrait of Rembrand t
My parents with enthusiasm should encourage me to continue painting in this picture and others to do the best I could without time limits. I was only 7 years old and I could use their incentive which never comes. When my father return to the garage, he froze at the sight and confuse asked me several times... where did you get it? ...you have not done that!
...He was amazed and in shock, he could not believe what he sees and what was happening. I insist for him to get closer. F inally, with curiosity and fear, he came near enough to touch the painting. He was astonished! ... And reacted by denying the reality... “You have no done this!!”... he mumbles as he left the garage, angry, frustrated and powerless. My father did not speak to me for three months but by them it was to late, because with the lef over paints, I had painted the nude girl “ like a dream” without saying nothing to anybody. When he sees it, he become furious, my mother had to save my life. Later, they say, it was because I painted without asking ".
Ruiz thought he would never be able to paint as well after he painted the Rembrandt but the intrigue led him to try again in the near future. In 1957, whilst still eight years old, he had the opportunity again. Ruiz recalls, ... "At the time we live in Av.Uriburu almost at the corner with Av. Ovidio Lagos in the city of Rosario, Argentina. I always went to the kiosk on the corner to buy sweets. One day, as I arrived, I realized that the girl who worked in the kiosk was showing her girlfriend a black and white photo of a naked girl. My eyes barely reach the high of the window. When she saw me, quickly hid the photo, but I saw it in a flash! ... That half a second glance entered in my mind like an arrow! The feeling was so strong that something take over without contemplation, unstoppable...I had meet my true animal!! ... I was owned! I was never going to be the same again. I had grown up!!...And it hurt...
With mix feelings, I dragged my body, and... Pulses take over my actions and my destiny. This “glance” of a naked woman had left me crazy! I was push to save my soul and needed to come out with a fast idea to do it. I did not sleep two days but my subconscious was at work! ... Face with adversity, finally a brilliant thought come to me. Afte r giving myself a lot of encouragement, as push by destiny, I decided to ask the kiosk girl to borrow the photo... “To paint a picture”! ... This was the price I had to pay to see in detail my first naked woman. That girl was so surprised … did not know h ow to react. She couldn`t believe it!. She was indecisive and incredulous...but this strange situation was irresistible and made her curious. In the other hand, I was a little boy but pure conviction and suggestion. Fortunately to my surprise, she decided to lend me the photo. Felt like I was the owner of the world! ... I hid away to paint the picture in the middle of the night, “on the sly” in one hour, to avoid problems with my parents ... for everything. I decided to add color to the black and white photo made in day time , but since I did not have any oils left over in various colors from “the Rembrandt experience”, including blue, yellow and green, I decided to change the painting from day to night time and place her figure into the water, in the dark with the reflection of a guessing moon to give life to a romantic feminine silhouette in warm colors.
Ruiz recalls ... "I liked in the way I did it but I felt that I was doing something wrong and this could only exist in my dreams. In reality, I could not conceive such a beautiful skin in the dirty waters of the Paraná River (the only water I knew by then, and it was brown and full of snakes)… no pretty and pure woman would ever get into that situation and also with the danger of the night ... Only existed in my imagination. I like it but I thought it was a mistake and someday I may be criticized for it."
1956, “Like a dream”. Ruiz was 8 years old . This is the first major creation by Ruiz with the brush.
When my father finally discovered the painting of the nude and after a real commotion !, he decided to do another test to me and "mischievously" took me to the Castagnino Museum of Rosario city to see if I had the ability to copy some of the works exhibited there and do it "in front of the public."
Ruiz recalls... "That was the excuse he used, but I think he did it, mostly, out of personal curiosity because he had never seen me painting with a brush. He had missed few small pictures I painted at five years old using the left over paints, then, misses the Rembrandt and the nude. He needed to see exactly “how” I did it.
This time my father did not want to miss seeing how I painted. We arrived to the Castagnino Museum and as we walked around, we argue whilst trying to choose the best painting for me to copy. M y father was complaining that I wanted to copy the most difficult paintings. I was so sure and confident. To me, they all looked easy to do, but he said they were impossible to copy and in any case, would take many days to do it. He adds with a stern glare and a silence sight... “Boy, ease down”... meaning, “stop dreaming and don`t touch my bolls!"...deep inside, I am sure he was afraid of the outcome. Finally I settled down in front of a romantic old bearded man and while I was preparing the easel and palette, my father, who still insisted that I could not do it, decided to go and talk to the Museum Director to explain better what was happening with his stubborn child. About 20 minutes later, he returned to see if I had started to paint and, to his surprise, the painting was finished.
Really angry, my father, a Doctor and an educated and charismatic person, grabbed the easel with my attach painting and we almost ran out of the Museum. We did not say goodbye and not even show my painting to the Museum Director who was very interested in seeing what I had produced.
1957. Painted by Ruiz, copied from a painting in the Castagnino Museum of Rosario, Argentina.
When the Director saw us living in such a hurry, he was probably worried that we may have stolen something. Yelling and shouting, he chases us to the steps outside. My father, on the run, had to stop for a few seconds to turn the easel toward the director, who was about 20 steps above us. When he saw my painting, shouted scared ... "That picture belongs to the Museum!!"... My father withholding his bitterness replied ... "no Sir... your painting is in the Museum go in and check!” The Director stop all confuse... ... And while my father keep going down the steps at full speed, he add out loud ... "Take a look at your pict ure, is hanging in the Museum!!" It was like an abstract, the Director desperately running into the Museum whilst we desperately running out to the car as if we had done something wrong... or seen the devil himself. I was also confused and running. I asked my father what was happening ... I was worried about his silence, but at my insistence, while he place everything into the car, he said, ... "hush, hush, you're going to get me into troubles, we are lucky to get out of this one !”...He drove in silence while I did not understand anything. 25 years later, in 1981, I went back to Rosario to exhibit at the Renom Gallery and I decided just to visit again the Castagnino Museum. I was shocked to see the paint ing hanging in the very same place. Memories take over me"
1959, at the age of 11, against the family will, Ruiz decided to make art his way of life and started painting surrounded by the public under a pine tree in Plaza Colón in Mar del Plata, Argentin a. Ruiz recalls, “After a discussion with my father, I decided to show him that I could paint anything in front of any audience and also make money doing so to help him to finish our summer house that he started building in Mar del Plata. At that point we all live in the unfinished garage.
I will never forget when, as I painted, he came from the back of the crowd and lyrically touch my balls … i n a funny gesture of admiration. About 200 people laughed and I could not believe it! … In my surprise and shock, I did not realize that this was the first time ever that my father really admired me and was showing it, publicly. I decided to paint everything with the palette knife because it was the hardest way to paint but it was “my thing”. Nobody was painting like this and could not match what I did. Everything else was already represented with the brush and brushes are easy to use and were use by everybody. So, I felt unique in my challenge to achieve something new to offer to the world. Today I still ask myself what would have happened, artistically speaking, if I had painted everything with a brush. Certainly, we all miss something out. One of these d ays, if I have a long enough life, I will make couple of hundred paintings with the brush, just to see what happen.” Painting with the palette knife it is the most difficult method to master and also Ruiz passion. He debuted in public with a resounding success ... quickly piling up orders to paint as only this genius on short pants can do it. For a little boy, this was one of the greatest experiences. Ruiz remembers the beginning of his career... "People told me what they wanted me to paint for them and I just had to decide to do it ... the rest came alone . Some clients asked for odd things, whilst others preferred to let my inspiration flow freely. Of course, I always did it in my way, as I felt it." "Absolutely everything I made financially up to my 18 years old, I gave it all to my parents. My mother, the rock of the family, learned to prepare the canvas and the stretchers and my father had to buy the paints for me. This hurt him because I always used quantities and as I paint quickly, I wasted much more.
I was making between 1.500 to 2.000 dollars per day. Sometimes I bought American or Brazilian canvas to make special paintings or to allow my mother to rest. I still remember what my father tells me after his first purchase of paint ... "but, do you think you were born rich?... it was not a question ! Hehe... That moment changed my life and for survival, my palettes become paintings. I emphasized what I was doing and in some of the paintings I added depth and thickness by throwing into all the left over paint. "
1959. "Romantic roots" important work by Ruiz in his tridimensional technique with the palette knife , more than 2 inches thick.
Since 1960, Ruiz was presented on television as the genius of art, a prodigy child. From 1959 to 1967, during the school holidays, which were extended to April 15 by his parents, the inspired Ruiz spent his time painting in Plaza Colon, Mar del Plata, Argentina, always surrounded by fans, onlookers, artists and customers. His paintings were always expensive. In 1960, the young Ruiz set up a fix price of 100 dollars for each of them. They were not available to many clients while querying to buy them sometimes having to wait one year for. Manuel worked arduous and sacrificed 18 hours a day painting outdoors in a park beneath a tree to meet orders from many people that sometimes remained on the waiting list for over a year to acquire one of his works created so spontaneously and often over a sandwich for lunch or dinner that may be at 3 in the morning . Ruiz recalls, "There I beat myself to death trying to be the best man I possible could in every way. I never smoked or drank and gave everything to the limit; I was my own experiment with the hope of being a Superman that would feel the pleasure of doing what nobody had done before and be able to share it with the world. We all knew we were making history. When it freezes, people use to cover me up with their bodies in a circle to keep me warm from the cold. It became a hard enemy late at night. I had to warm up my hands every minute to be able to keep painting one more stroke. Generally shivering and starving by the hour. I always wanted but never could finish early, people, history and destiny, pushed me to the edge. "
Ruiz recall, â€œIn one occasion I injured my hand but of course, I plan to keep creating. People were waiting for my paintings. Actually I cannot use my right hand, so, everybody was curious to see what I will do. I made few paintings with my left hand, one with my feet and another with the only finger showing out of my right hand and,... I liked the effect !!. This is how my finger painting technique startedâ€?.
1964. “Forms of a dream” Original technique developed by Ruiz finger painting in 1964.
Just a few years later, millions of people would see Ruiz creating masterpieces every week. He was presented in over 1.000 TV programs not only in Argentina but also in Brazil, Venezuela and the United States, later also in Spain. Thousands of people enjoy their daily visit to his work in his 6 Galleries and the Ruiz Art Museum in the "North Shore" of Chicago. Since 1989, they also visited his 2 Galleries in Marbella, Spain where he is planning to build the largest private Museum in the world. In many different countries, people became fond of his palette knife techniques and his tridimensional art . In this way, the influence of Ruiz and his three-di technique spread throughout the world like an unstoppable scorching fire. In 1961, at age 12, Ruiz starts studying high school in the Dante Alighieri of Rosario, Argentina. His art teacher immediately discovered that Ruiz was making the drawings for most of his classmates and later, also for kids from other schools who were in need of good grades and they come to ask for his help.
Ruiz reminds, "I could not refuse ...They needed help and I can give it to them. It was a little heavy to be doing so many drawings but I use to tell me....”don’t think... just do it.” That is basically the story of my life !. My teacher began sitting right behind me in every single class. Now, I believe he knew we were cheating but preferred to keep silence just to watch me doing all this different drawings at full speed but in a way that looks like nothing was happening. The real art was to do 20 different drawings in front of him without being noticed.
However, it seems that the Directors from the other Colleges complain to my Director of the college and he called me in to see him. Surprise!!... As I entered the room, I see about 500 of my drawings all over the tables but with different signatures. The Director just asked me… ”recognize them?” As punishment, the College Dante Alighieri organize an exhibit of all my drawings in the main hallway and “they added” few of my drawings retouch and signed by other kids... to make me think... and,...it hurts! Of course, the students spoiled the drawings I made for them with the aim to make it appears in front of the professor that they had actually done the work. This was the first exhibit of my art work! ... and I only visited one time. I dislike seeing it again in account of those few paintings sign by others. Also I received a good scolding and at the request of the director, I would have to give the art class to all my classmates with the promise of not to make all the drawings for them, just show how to do it, and my teacher will only give the notes.” In the search for additional pleasures related to art, the young Ruiz designed houses, buildings, boats and modern cars, one of which he built few years later. Ruiz used to say… “If you can’t buy it, just build it.” Of course, these were ideals of a child that could not perform because he was so young and needed guidance and funds to do big projects. In any case, many architects copied his ideas and Ruiz served as their inspiration until today. We can see his drawings and influence in today´s architecture all over the world.
In Argentina Ruiz was invited to take part in popular TV programs and to paint to well-known personalities as the great actress Mirtha Legrand who also attended the opening of Ruiz exhibition at the Theater General San Martin in the city of Termas de Rio Hondo in Santiago del Estero. She looked ecstatic as Ruiz dedicated a picture he painted before her eyes.
In Mar del Plata, Argentina, Ruiz was invited to paint on different TV programs as "Una Terraza Frente al Marâ€?, with Mateiko and with Julio Lagos in Buenos Aires, etc. His incredible success in the international arena is due to his boundless artistic talent and his passion. He created something different that still continues to surprise by its inimitable originality even though his technique with the palette knife has now become popular around the world.
Ruiz is the pioneer of art on television. He is all spontaneity and feeling, surely the world's fastest artist, but, most important is the essence of his spontaneous strokes. They will not have the same artistic value if they had not being born from his soul.
With his vertiginous strokes, Ruiz punished and cherished the canvas in an intuitive and unconscious emotional concert of feelings, colors and forms. All of them born only from the essence of his unique way of creating and conceiving life. Since 1960 Ruiz has shown his talent in more than 1,000 TV programs over three continents. For the first time the public was able to "introduced themself" into the mind of an artist while he was creating. Ruiz is happy to explain his feelings and techniques while painting at a staggering pace and with a historical artistic quality. In the 60's, all start up with the black and white television. Ruiz put together art and music. Sometimes Ruiz invite and shared images with singers because they brought in the music while Ruiz created a painting on TV and this looks good in fro nt of the audience but, Ruiz always pointed out how interesting it was to see both artists express their feelings together inspired by art and music creating the magic images blend in by Ruiz strokes. Music touch Ruiz feelings and we can see in his performance how his natural instincts comes out to the rhythm of â€œsambaâ€?. In those times, technically, the two images could not be combined together on the same screen. An example was shown in the fabulous TV program of Silvio Santos in Brazil. Ruiz painted to the music of Roberto Carlos, the star of Brazilian singers and performed with Wanderley Cardoso, the handsome young singer with whom Ruiz also shared one of the first
soap operas to be done on paper in a magazine. It was made up only with photos and writings and called "The Estrada do Santos" in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Wanderley was the playboy of the moment, both, in the story and in reality. On the 60â€?s there were few TV Stations and soap operas on TV, did not exist. Ruiz performed in hundreds of television shows, creating a painting in a couple of minutes to the rhythm of a song. Sometimes he shared the stage with singers who usually accompanied his strokes with their music. At that time, in the early 60s, there were no video clips. Certainly, Ruiz TV presentations painting to the music, combining the image of his strokes to the rhythm was an inspiration and an influence to the music industry with the subsequent appearance much later, of musical videos with images. Currently used by all the internationally renowned singers. 1960, Ruiz is the pioneer and promoter of Education through television. In the decades of the 60, 70 and even the 80's, there were no educational TV programs for children or adults, only the ones that Ruiz started.
Ruiz created and introduced the teaching by television. This later became the most important way of communication and education in the world.
Ruiz was the first person to create art programs on TV for children and adults. He explained and thought his audience how to create a work of art, painting or sculpture and what materials he used. Ruiz shared his thoughts and answered all questions whilst he painted to demonstrate and teach how it is done. From the beginning, Ruiz thinks in the children and produces television programs for them bearing with all the costs because nobody else wanted to help or invest to produce cultural TV programs for children or adults. On those times, from the 1960s, even up to the early 90s, society did not think of childrenâ€™s as important.
Also, there were not any cultural programs for adults as we can see through the history of television. Investors did not see any returns on their money. People just were not ready to receive or give something new through the TV, and even less so, if it was related to art and education. They could not understand why Ruiz wanted to do it. The few existing TV channels (one or two per country), were not inclined to try out what Ruiz intended to do. There was no company who built or produced anything of any importance for children. Nor was there anyone to think of them as people with intellectual and emotional needs ... and even less, â€œpurchasing powerâ€?.
Ruiz original oil, painted in less than 20 strokes
The values of what to receive trough TV were different. Even as late as 1989, when Ruiz arrives to Spain, he presented a project for a cultural TV program to Channel 5 and Channel Sur in S pain. It was â€œart for children and adultsâ€? and it was refuse with the excuse that there would be no market for sponsors. Ruiz is the engine of education through television that gave children the social value they deserved.
After insisting, alone, for more than 3 decades, others just started TV programs which had been inspired by Ruiz work and his prophecy with children in mind. The TV programs that Ruiz created were the first to impulse the teaching on TV and show through television “how to do something” reaching millions of people. Without question, this new perception was the motivation and inspiration that people needed to produce other programs related to teaching anything as it happen today. Actually in the year 2.012 this programs become very popu lar after 50 years of Ruiz creating “How to do it” or “How is made”. His thousands of TV shows were an inspiration for artists and neophytes because in them, Ruiz explained his techniques as he created his works of art with the palette knife or developed a sculptor. He showed the materials used and even shared his feelings in search of something new and beautiful as life itself.
His palette knife and his three-dimensional technique became popular with his unique TV appearances and daily live shows from 1960 in Argentina, then Brazil, the USA, Venezuela, Spain and other countries throughout Europe. More than a decade later after 1960, saw the beginning of live documentaries showing how the lions and other wildlife live, or how the Egyptians lived 2,000 years ago. Ruiz movement crossed borders quickly and 20 years later, led to the birth of many programs that mimicked those originals made by Ruiz to teach the viewer about art or how to make a painting or a sculptor.
Ruiz ideas burst into such a programs as how to make a garden, a remodeling or a furniture, and 40 to 50 years later start coming other TV programs as how to make a house, a meal, animal training or how to make a movie, a building, a bridge, a toy, or anything familiar to us.
In the 60's, the three-dimensional art or â€œexaggerated textâ€? that Ruiz presented to us in his paintings he also introduced on paper and in unprepared virgins cloths. This had an explosive effect in society who followed his methods all over the world. Ruiz experimented with graphics on paper and cloths in an effort to achieve one inch lift lithographs to create the threedimensional effect likeness of his technique with the palette knife. He wants his trade mark to be recognized easy by the public. In 1968, this caused a great impact in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Later, in 1971, when Ruiz moved to America, his idea travelled like a vast fire all over the world.
1968, “Ouro Preto, Brazil”. Original lithograph on cloth by Ruiz. Ruiz experiences on canvas, lithographs of an inch thick .
Today it is a part of all of us and it is perfectly normal for us to wear something with text or to see a tri -dimensional painting... but of course, nothing like Ruiz masterpieces. Ruiz´s idea of putting text on clothes was such an innovation that the textile industry moved immediately entrusting designs to suit fabrics used primarily for ladies high-fashion clothing but soon became popular in all kinds of clothes, T shirts, pants, jackets, bedspreads, curtains,...and scattered all around the world of fabrics. Ruiz never received any material compensation or recognition for his invention of puff-text lithographs on paper and on clothes with a three-dimensional effect. The business men and the industry made billions of dollars by using his creations.
Subsequently, the three-dimensional relief was used in many ways by society at large, influencing all forms of art in any ways and styles including the abstract, the wear, shoes and even the film industry. All moved into the three-dimensional effect that Ruiz has created. It has become a necessity and it seems normal today to see tridimensional in art or to own something to wear with text. Ruiz is all spontaneity and all art. Ruiz brings out his feelings as an unparalleled artistic explosion.
His soul is all passion and art in its purest expression.
Ruiz has performed more than 10,000 demonstrations with each of the paintings that he created always surrounded by the public, in Museums, Galleries, Banks, Theatres, Art Fairs, Art Guilds, Festivals, Parks, Beaches, Golf Clubs, Football stadium, International Natives
Festivals, Cruises, Universities, Hospitals, Government Buildings, Schools, Foundation of all kind, Associations, a wide variety of Clubs, in Television and Cables TV, beach TV programs, etc. Ruiz has been acclaimed by millions of people and valued at hundreds of art exhibitions in addition to his own private galleries and Art Museum. Ruiz paints as he feels; his speed is printed by his spontaneity. It is simply that way because it cannot be otherwise. That is his essence, his pace, and multiplies his beats to become the heart of art. Ruiz is a universal genius of art. He does not fallow anything or anyone, he is unique. It is one of the few artists, true creator, who have existed throughout the history of art. Ruiz is the artist who has revolutionized the arts without losing the aesthetic values that art represents, which is the main attraction and the greatness of his unique style. His infinite talent to create history leaves a trail of inspiration to the world and will surely be remembered as one of the best universal artists of all time. Ruiz contribution to art and society has a massive impact on billions of people worldwide. He take us from pioneer the palette knife technique, the creation of three-dimensional art, pioneering education and teaching trough out TV, cable and internet, first demonstrations on TV and cable, created tri-di graphics on paper and cloths with text, created sport shoes with colors and text, he has influenced in what we wear with reliefs, pioneer the music video clips with
artistic images, created the sculptural architecture, designed, created and build his own cars, he also like to write, poetry, make videos, make TV programs and movies, the list is endless. As with Leonardo da Vinci, Ruiz is far beyond anything achieved by any other artist in the history of art. Unfortunately Ruiz does not paint for the last 12 years since 2001 recovering emotionally from a painful divorce. Manuel Ruiz is, without doubt, one of the most valuable international artists in the art market.
1964. "Symphony of colors". Ruiz technique with palette knife
Today, his original works of art are priced between 300,000 and 20 million Euros.
MANUEL MUÑOZ RUIZ, WITHOUT A DOUBT IS THE MOST EXCITING AND VERSATILE TALENT OF THE LAST 50 YEARS
Since Ruiz began painting, until he was 18 years old, he gave all the money he earned to his parents. In 1964, at age 16, Ruiz bough an old classic Ford T 1927 just to have fun with his friends. Later he try to go for a driver license but his father did not allow it under the excuse that he can go broke if Ruiz would crashed because he was not 18 years old yet. In 1966, Ruiz life change as his father did not want him to drive the family car or take out the license, so, after an argument, Ruiz decided to give his parents only 35% of his earnings for the season and keep the rest to invested in his way. Plus he continue painting! Ruiz never smoke or drink but always knew how to invest wisely the fruits of his sacrifice.
Being 18 years old, in few weeks, Ruiz became one of the largest land owners in the luxurious "Barrio los Troncos" the most exclusive location of Mar del Plata, Argentina, a few meters away from “Villa Victoria Ocampo”, now a Museum. It was once the home of the famous female writer with whom Ruiz shared her porch on many sunny afternoons of reflections. He also was a neighbor of the "Mitre Museum", home of the patriot who was President of Argentina in the 19th century. All this homes has more than a full city block of land.
Ruiz purchased all this land with the agreement to pay the second half in one year. With no money left, Ruiz decided to restore and sell his dear Ford T 1927 to pay the Public Notary for the purchase of the land. He also aimed just to get to Brazil even though his final intention was to go to USA. With a small artist brush, Ruiz painted the car using oil s in black and red. Then, he said goodbye to this old friend that left him with many good memories related to his parents, girls and friends. Passionate man, without any money left over after purcha sing the land, but with much talent, spirit of adventure, sacrifice and courage, he just pushed onwards to conquer the world with his art. No cash left... plus a high debt... but Ruiz was ready to travel to Brazil and USA facing any circumstances. He travelled to Brazil first because it was as far as he could go with the money he had left from the purchase of his land and the sale of his old car. Ruiz recalls, â€œWhen I bought all that land, I was considered a millionaire but I had no money left so, I have to sell my classic car, a 1927 Ford T with which I had many wonderful times. There I was,... with nothing but in top of the world !. just a day before I travel and my life change,...euphoric and yet sad, in the middle of the street corner, sitting on the roof of my car, on the breeze, using a little oil paint brush to make the car look great,... meditating with my thoughts, making a balance of life, contemplating the upcoming unknown future and surrounded by great memories of the past ... All was an ecstasy in my life ... I can feel the power full with peace on that glorious moment ... easy! ... I can taste with my spirit the flavor of the morning breeze and... t he sun letting me rest in his worm which full-feel my soul by the grace of God... yes
... I was floating above... untouchable... on top of the world. I was happy, content... .. it was nothing to worry... as... the father of my little girl friend, who I adored, showed up and asked me ... ¿are you going to marry her?”. .
1966. María Amelia. His first girlfriend.
Ruiz left Argentina without the blessing of his parents who refused to support him on the path of art despite his success. Later, Ruiz would return regularly to Argentina to visit his family and satisfy the customers who live there.
Ruiz recalls, "I left Argentina to Brazil with no money because I had invested everything in 14 plots of land in “Los Troncos” and in a farm in “Laguna de los Padres”, all in the best parts of Mar del Plata, Argentina. I had a debt equivalent to half of the value of the land I bought as the agreement was to pay the rest within a year. I actually owed $ 600,000 dollars! … A fortune in 1966. Such was my self-esteem and ignorance that I figured I would create a media of 17 paintings a day, sell them for about $100 dollars each, multiplied by 365 days and... the problem was already solved!...easy. I did not make any allowance or estimated any possible risks such as disease, rain, permits, maybe I could not paint in a square, need to travel or many other possible things that could it happen as falling in love with a blonde girl or have fun for one day!!...which actually, happens.
I took a train and a bus to Brazil because it was the closest country to travel going straight towards the USA. Plus, I had no money to go any further. I knew I was travelling to an unknown place where nobody knew me and I do not know anybody and worse, I did not speak Portuguese I had no money to eat or sleep nor could I buy supplies for painting or had nothing for sale but yet, I was sure of success !... Talented, young, stupid and fearless was the perfect combination for my victory. I was all passion and determination, always stretching reality and dreams, crossing the deathly line like I was going to a picnic.
It sounds like I am describing some crazy man, but I assure you, the situation seemed normal to me. I was confident and without any concerns ... ready to win and enjoy!. I was going to make a pulse to life once again ... for which I believed to be prepared and despite never having travelled alone, I did not foresee any problems or hazards. Who needs money? I had my talent!! â€Ś I may have nothing to eat at the timeâ€Śbut that was not a problem in my mind. I did not need to eat in 24 hours and that is all I needed to come on top of any situation .
ManuelRuiz in 1964. Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Undoubtedly, my immaturity was my best friend in this case, because fate and the Gods had saved something special for me. Plus they kept me alive! Despite all the ads and having to deal with sleeping surrounded by rats on my first night there… I succeeded, and just 12 hours after I arrive to Brazil, I was discovered and presented in TV by the “Chacrinha Show” with an audience of 60 million people. This made me immediately famous and successful. One day later, I was invited again to be interview on TV. This time I was presented by “The Silvio Santos Show” with a similar audience. Together with Roberto Carlos, Silvio Santos was the most popular person in Brazil. I was invited many times to his TV program. These are the 2 most important TV programs of all time in Brazil. Ruiz remembers as today... In 1967, at night, under the rain, I arrived by bus to the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I had no money, only half a sandwich I had save from the Argentinian train to eat later in Brazil, so, I can survive to a new day, which was all I needed.... ...Then, I had to share it with the rats that in Brazil are half a meter long without tail!. Hehe…I was not going to fight for half sandwich with my future “roommates” in an abandon basement room with no light on the only "be bogged down and worst hotel" in the Republic Square, down town of Sao Paulo. I arrived there on foot from the Station having to walk thought those empty dangerous streets were I can see all kind of things as I move starving to death and rather wet. I march to the sound of my foot steps that I made loather to mark my new territory and to cover up that I was shitting in m y pants.
The hotel manager, after my explanation of which he only understood that I had no money, was kind enough to offer me a deadly basement room full of fear, humid, no lights, no water, rats, cockroaches, spiders and God knows what more was there. F or sure not worse than the snake that invited me down to that baseman with a subtle smile. I understand why he was surprised to see me in the morni ng!. But, it was either that or to sleep on the streets of that big city, with great danger, in a strange place full of heartless criminals capable of anything. Well, in the other hand, maybe in that black basement was what I wanted to avoid on the outside... but I had to continue walking on that dark hallway following his “kinds” instructions as I pray that he will not change his mind. I screamed out loud for him to hear me… “This way??,. ..Which room ??”… He was attentive and answers… “just pick anyone!!” … great... When I got halfway, driven by fear, ignorance on my quixotic essence,... the balance was leveled and I considered again to come back out but it was too late, it was more dangerous the way back that to continue searching for a room on the dark. I was aware that I was risking my life which has no value at that moment and provably never did. I meet for the first time the emptiness... means, the nothing of my intellect...the unconscious...me at that moment.
Just imagine if I had always being like this…which most provably I was... How did I get into that situation?!!!... all the values of my life were in doubt.
As I push the darkness, my ears sharpened to survive, my eyes sought ghosts in the absolute scary black of that place, as with one hand, I was feeling the wall totally blind. I practiced Kung-Fu by stealth if attacked me in silence, I would not die without a fight!. Finally I felt a door that, when I push it, gives life to a Frankenstein noise. Even the rats ran scare to death! ... on a massive way. Well, at least I know some animals lived there. I also had to maintain distance from the possible enemy and occasionally kick the bed I had found groping in the dark room, which the rats re-loaded every 5 minutes. I did not sleep all night. I sat in the corner against the walls with the dark enemy right in front of me. My mouth was absolute dry and at that moment, I remember my half sandwich. As I take it out of my pocket and give one bite, I realized the fast growing chorus of the rats, they like the smell of my salami sandwich and try to come over the bed so, as I kick them in the dark, I threw out fast and far away all I had left to repel them from my odor ... and from me. It was incredible to hear the screaming and the fight that they had for the sandwich, there must to be at least 20 or 30 rats. It was like a visit to hell… All black and just use your imagination by the noises… Having to reason with the shadows, it was interesting but a scary shit experience. After few moments, I became part of the unknown and I find the rules…I realized that nobody can get close to me without making any noise, because the animals there will react and I will know it. They became part of me…of my life, they were my body guards. We were all in the same boat, I also was one of them... in a humble way..
When I guessed it could be morning, I went up through more danger in the dark to search for the light. Next, I needed merchandise to paint and I needed to find a place who has it. I was lucky to find nearby an oriental couple who had a shop opposite to the square. After several attempts of negotiation, they did not want to exchange the goods I needed for a painting, I think, at first, not to abuse of me... or maybe, just in case they did not like what I will paint. In any case, for sure, they change their minds when I start taken the merchandise. They were very honorable and finally decided to trust me, because the purchase was large. But they did not have an idea of how large! ...They shook their heads when I took 8 canvases, the largest easel, palette and a lot of paint. Their eyes were a book !, they look bold and tri-di as my paintings..hehe I barely can walk. With all I take, I think they follow me to see where I was going and what I really would do with all that. I believe that after seeing me painting in the square surrounded by people, it was them who called the program of Chacrinha to introduce me on TV. Within an hour, three â€œbigâ€? black guys intimidated me and as I did not understand what was going on, I was taken virtually by force with everything I had the re. Two of them sat with me on the floor in the back of their closed Volkswagen van. I thought it was the police and I would end up in jail for painting in the park without permissionâ€Śor who knows what it may happens, it maybe something worst.
Sitting on the floor of the car with the 2 guards that “had fallen from the sky”, I thought my adventure was over and nobody was going to save me from that. As we all look each other eyes in silence, it was one more time for meditation,... probably the 2 black men’s wondered what had I done to be famous. I was wandering if I will be alive one more night! After sleeping with the rats in an infernal nightmare, no having any food or water for the last 24 hours, being force to go God knows where with this 3 big black guys…it felt like I was in a twilight zone…I was paying too hard for my mistakes… and I was learning too fast about life…but…however,
Minutes later, we were entering in "O Glovo TV" where I was going to paint in front of 60 million people introduced by Chacriña to his viewers as something new and different who had arrived to Brazil.
1969. “ Mara” …a magic girl, the perfume of Brazil..
Thank God, I was always lucky at painting. I did what I like and people love it. Ruiz was presented by the two major TV programs of the 60”s, the Show of Chacrinha and the Silvio Santos Show with 60 million viewers each. This launched Ruiz directly to stardom and he became well known internationally. Ruiz was also presented in many more TV programs like with “Soledad Silveira”, most popular TV program at the time in Rio de Janeiro. After making a painting on his program without saying a word in Portuguese, the 3 bodyguards took me back to the same park where I was greeted by a large crowd of onlookers who had seen me on TV, including the gentile owners of the paint shop and the manager of the "bog hotel" who came with an smile, to offer me his best room." Our artist was considered a genius by foremost critics as Romano Galefi, member of the World Esthetic Organization based in London and by the public who recognized him for his talent.
Ruiz recalls, I fall in love with Brazil and his people and end up staying about 3 years. I have many great experiences and me mories from Brazil. I remember with respect, admiration and appreciation many friends like Chacrinha and the unique Silvio Santos, who introduced me regularly on his TV program and is a great example of humility, generosity and greatness for everyone. This man is special!. I am proud of my friend, the talented and great singer Wanderley Cardoso with whom I share many great moments and artistic dreams when he tape his sounds with I wish, I translated to Spanish and when we
travel to Santos to make the soap opera,... and my friend Don Camilo, the owner of Giovanni Restaurants in Sao Paulo and his beautiful daughter!. Also I have good memories of my great friend Sergio Braga from Urca and Copacabana; we travel to the north of brazil and Manolo, the photographer of Copacabana. And, of course, there is Mara!, a very artistic, talented and special girl from Ipanema, important to me, this is why later, I will tell you how we meet. Ruiz has lots of great memories with all of them and many more wonderful persons from Brazil. Since a boy, Ruiz prefers to paint directly in front of the public rather than to exhibit in galleries... it is a great part of his unique talent. He let us know... "I preferred dealing directly with the public, exchange ideas and to create something new together. I like to feel their vibrations when I paint and interpret the orders; it helps to raise my spirit above everything. The more people, the better ... I always feel more energy. It is like having a coffee in the morning" For Ruiz, having this connection with the public it is very important. They are his family. He always did it from childhood and he welcome, take care and paints for the people in his own Museum and Galleries whenever he could. Ruiz had accepted invitations to paint, teach and show his techniques in all kind of organizations and institutions worldwide.
In northern Brazil, Salvador, Bahia , Ruiz agreed to an exhibit in the Panorama Gallery, The House of Italy and the Kennedy Museum which in 1969 exhibited his works and purchased 10 Ruiz masterpieces for their permanent collection.
Later around, following his departure from Brazil, the Museum Alvaro Alvin in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, organized an exhibition of his work. This Museum was founded by the original "Girl from Ipanema" being 80 years old, which captivated, she watch es Ruiz as he created the works acquired for her Museum under construction at the time on the sea front of Ipanema. Out of the process of Ruiz painting in public in the park and at the same time, his popular presentations on TV, attracted people, some just for curiosity who star coming in quantities to see what Ruiz was doing in the Park. Especially on the weekends. In 1968, this lead to the creation of the Art Fair. Ruiz founded the "Art Fair of Sao Paulo" in “Prac a da República” and in 1969 created a similar Fair with a group of artist who wanted the same thing that Ruiz did in Sao Paulo. It was named "The Ipanema Art Fair" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil . Both became national tourist attraction with the annual participation of over 5,000 artists from various countries.
The major newspapers and magazines in Brazil and Argentina have devoted hundreds of stories. Manchette, at the time, best magazine in Brazil, immortalized Ruiz on the front cover page. Something new arrived to Brazil and they feel it and start reacting getting ready not to miss the action and to be part of the transformation. The two Art Fairs were the most important social happening in Brazil since the abolition of the slavery. It comes out in all the TV news and all the media coverage attracting millions of people. Ruiz recall everything as a meeting with history, "Without intending too and without agreeing with its principles and without knowing them, I became the leader of the hippie movement in Brazil. Just happen.
I started painting alone in the center park of Sao Paulo, a city of 15 million people. I appeared on television regularly, was popular and an attracted thousands of people who come daily to see me at this Sao Paulo park “Praca da República”, where I painted. I had recognition, the respect of the people and the authorities who allowed me to paint in the Park without any restrictions or permits despite being something new and I was a "foreigner". Also, in some ways, I was causing some problems because around me was moving a great quantity of curious people getting on top of the grass and the flowers for which the city needed to add police security. Them, to make matters worse, the unexpected happen and it displeased the manners of the conventional and quiet Brazilian society.. In the beginning, I was relaxing while I paint surrounded by collectors and curious but soon began to arrive some coin dealers and artisans who asked my permission to sell their merchandise next to me, many came from far away because of my exposure in TV. The first coin dealer next to me came from the city of Pelotas, in the heart of Brazil. Then, other comes to ask me permission to sell belts, and then, more comes with leather bags and other things. Within a few months, there was a big group around me. They start selling everything, mostly art and crafts. Colorful, people love it ! Very soon, some show up with a long hair, a head ba nner, dress with leather jackets... start smoking joints…I waited for the apocalypse whilst I prayed!. No one before, had ever seen anything like this!, where did these people come out from? ... I was concerned, did not know how the authorities would take it and I felt responsible and also scared because they were all older than me, some of them did not look to good and I was in the middle of the situation. I could not believe the
large movement that was growing under my custody... and for alleged, all came to me for permission to be there. I clarified ... "well, you can make yourself comfortable but I'm not the one to give permission, I do not even have it myself, we may all have to leave!”... I can not stop what was happening !...it become bigger than me...very fast! I was young, do not smoke or drink and some of them really get me a little worry. They looked sloppy, dirty, long hair and they started smoking marihuana... and this was something new for all of us… the drugs had arrive to Brazil !! Everybody start acting different, they appeared overnight, imitating the American trend as if they had seeing the movie “Easy Rider”. In two weeks, most of them were dressed as hippies, as if it was the fashion, with headbands, long hair and joints in their mouths (which at first, no one knew what it was). The new Art Fair was an attraction, all very colorful, looked like a circus. On the other hand, because of this many people and some of them looking add, I was afraid of losing the rights I had earned and the authorities could consider me responsible for what was happening. In a way I was, but I had no bad intentions. I just pain and they come. Everyone had the right to express themselves without hurting anyone, especially the real artists and artisans who arrive there, dressed as hippies or not. Everything was growing fast and out of control. They start selling factory clothes and jewelry and I know something was going to happen. About 500 artisans and artists created a movement so large that merchants complained because they start losing sales and finally
came the day when the police asked us to evacuate the park and I was told that the Governor wanted to speak to me. I thought I would be thrown out of Brazil.
The Governor at first wanted me to be the only one to stay in the Park, but this created a problem too big for me... how would I explain this to the hippies? They would kill me!. In addition, there were some good artists and good people with needs and lots of dreams and it was not fair. I had to tell him that if they leave, I will have to do the same. I convinced him that they were not bad people, only artists and craftsmen looking for better opportunities and if everything was organized and clean, it could be something nice and a tourist attraction for the city of Sao Paulo. Finally, he made me responsible for the Art Fair but my life, once again, become worthless... To restore the fair, I had to promise to the Governor something very difficult â€Ś I had to promises that all the hippies would bathe, cut off their hair, wear clean suitable clothes, no drugs were allow and they will only sell things made by them, which was one of the biggest problem at that time. I agreed and finally the appointed weekend arrived. The Park was surrounded by a security of about 500 heavily armed police, each man next to the other creating a human wall . Out of fear, no one wanted to enter the Park. They asked me ... "Well ... you spoke with the Governor, what he told you?"... A hard question to answer under the circumstances!. Because of so many police there, many of the artisans and hippies may were thinking that I may had betray them and all of this could be a trap to arrest us all together. Actually, when I saw so many police, I thought that the Governor had changed his mindâ€Śand if this was the situation, I would need all that entire police force to save my life.
Soon, a good number of artisans and curious people were gathering outside of the police circle, they were waiting to see what I do. Was a lot of pressure in the air, I had to go in and I did. I felt like I was risking my life when I crossed the wall of policeman in this "foreign country" were on top of everything else, I was also a stranger from another place and nationality. The police were standing, armed for war, side by side, but why? ... if they were going to let us in, ... why they were standing shoulder to shoulder? ... I had to ask them permission to allow me enough space to move my body true them.
Earth, swallow me!... I wanted to be transparent, untouchable ... it was a responsibility, I must do it but I do not want to die so young. As I entered, a few fools clapped and cheered. I glare at them reproachfully, without giving importance of what they did and in a humble way. I just kept going, organized my easel, palette and I started to paint. I was 19 years old and once again I was forced to do something "naturally" as if only I follow a script already written and without knowing the consequences. I began painting alone and without public, no one person watching except the police circle around the square and the people behind them. I had to make the best performance of my life!.... and I had mix vibrations. Everyone was nervous and attentive. My art was my best weapon to defeat the unknown enemy. But, it may be too late. I prayed that there will not be a fool who will gave the order to shoot. This was the longest 30 minutes of my life u ntil then. Ten minutes later, a few people came in to watch what I was painting and stood behind me but, until more come in and cover all my body, I did not remain calm.
I was truly worried to be shot at any moment. Very timidly, the hippies dared to enter the square. By the afternoon we were about 1000 artist and artisans selling our creations.
After some time, while painting in Sao Paulo over the weekends , during the week, I started painting in Rio in the lobby of the Roxi Movie Theater in Copacabana Avenue, one of the most beautiful and exciting place in the world. I lived across the street in the Hotel Copalinda. There, I almost lost my life as I sleep one night and inhaled the fumes from the wet paintings.
That night I was painting at the Roxi until 11.30 pm., always trying to please just one more client. I missed the last bus to Sao Paulo so; I decided I will take the fly in the morning. The concierge had to wake me up at 4.30 am. He knocked several times and finally, as I did not answer, they opened the door and found me unconscious. They took me outside and slowly I was revived by the fresh air. They had save my life! Days later, I rented an apartment in Copacabana.
Also in Rio as in Sao Paulo I was written out in the newspapers and I was invited to the best TV programs including the one of Soledad Silveira. At the same time, I continued my TV presentations with Silvio Santos in Sao Paulo, and with the Sao Paulo Art Fair. Soon, also I will paint in the Feria de Ipanema, Rio. A few months later, while painting at the Roxi Theater in Copacabana, a group of artisans and artists came and try to convince me to do the same Art Fair in Rio as I had done in Sao Paulo. They wanted me to paint in the General Osorio square in Ipanema, Rio. After I should start, they were willing to follow me to build another Art Fair just like it happen in Sao Paulo. But, they had already asked for permission and the government in Rio has forbidden them to do it. Ipanema was the richest place and they did not want an Art Fair full with hippies! These artists were inviting me for much more problems and I had enough. But, I end up helping them especially when they were push out by the police. I remembered the past difficulties and refused at first, but eventually I ended up painting with them. They did use me but I loved it and I keep the greatest memories. Virtually all the incidents of Sao Paulo happened again in Rio, including the prohibition, the police around the Park, having to walk in the firstâ€Śetc.
It sounds as if I was pushing my luck. Just like in Sao Paulo, I had to go in first to paint and to see what happens with the police. It began to look like I was born for this! The return to the normal life in the Fair with a nice atmosphere was the formal beginning of "the Ipanema Art Fair" in Rio. With all the trees, it was a nice place to be. In 1968, this was not just 2 Art Fairs, they were the first ones in South America and in all the Latin American countries, and oneÂ´s of the oldest in the world. They were also the flame of the social event that would change the Brazilian and South American society as officially represented the arrival of hippies and drugs, values imported from the USA. I do not feel identify myself with it because I never smoked or drank but, however, in those moments, this event touch the form of life of all the society. Peace and freedom! I am glad I help many artists with my way of painting also doing it in front of a big audience and with my TV programs. In Brazil, I had won the admiration and respect from the public for which actually I was used all the time by the rest of participants, but I have the greatest memories of most pure and intense experiences, unforgettable and once in a lifetime moments that will never happen again. I did not know I was making history! ...I was just do what I have to do to survive and be successful. I made this happen and the best part was to be there and live it ! Be it, help and be part of in first person was and is a joy. I was the perfect artist and person for the perfect moment in the perfect place for all of this to happen. Or... needs to happen? ... or, supposed to happen ?... or...was going to happen ?..it meant to happen ?... God knows.
All the national newspapers and some international ones echoed of these important events that end up affecting us all. Manchette, the best Brazilian magazine at the moment, wrote the story of the Art Fair and its impact on society and places me on their front page. I painted in both cities weekly. In Rio I finish at 11 pm. Always "a final customer" changed my life, but I must admit that I have a very fast living because I had to do what I must do. Always the food come later.. if possible. Then, I was running to reach the last bus from Rio to Sao Paulo, without dinner, dirty, my shirt wet with the oils because I end up on the rush, cleaning my palette knife there and the paint use to go through to my body, damaging my health. When we cross the mountains, my wet shirt cool off in my body and I had to walk all night in the bus not to freeze. I know, I was really stupid, but sometimes it gave me no time to go back to my apartment to change clothes and eat. The bus reached Sao Paulo at 7 am and without sleep or bathe or food, I use to go straight to take my things from the hotel and directly set up and start painting at the Fair on the Square where I had to be Ruiz, the genius. " Ruiz recalled hundreds of anecdotes including one that happens while he was painting on Copacabana Avenue in the lobby of the movie theater Roxi... with an attractive blonde girl whose name was "Mara"â€Ś "It was very nice, makes me very nostalgic, I can still feel the fragrance of the moment ... I will keep it forever in my heart ... a spell of life... mixture of incense that was protecting those sculpted bodies from the sun embracing the Copacabana beach with that subtle touch of samba in the air which they moved as they walked ... alive imagination!,â€Śbeautiful ladies!!...beautiful country!... And there ...
among the colorful browns surrounded by the exotic green perfume and like a magic inspiration ... a gold touch, the blonde! ... Maraâ€Ś mine forever. That blonde come for a few days to watch whilst I painted, absorbed in ecstasies with her heart there in her Brazilian essence, generous, sexy, seductiveâ€Śsensual. With her mystique and silence look, invites me to live life and to get lost in her feelings and mos t intimate secrets that only belongs to her and only she can show youâ€Ś a truly enjoyment of a women and much more as a person. One day, while I was painting at the Roxi, before we kne w each other, she insisted on having private lessons. I had to explain to her that I could not do it because I had no time and this would be profitable for me only if they were 300 students. Also, I clarify to her that I had never given lessons before and I could only tell her what comes into my mind and why I painted in the way I did. I was too hard to her, not very romantic. It hurt a lot to act like this against my feelings because I liked her. I should explain more my situation but there was lots of people watching how I paint and listening to the conversation. Also, I thought that she would not understand my sense of responsibility or that I had a millionaire debt to pay for the land I bought in Mar del Plata, Argentina. She left in silence, sad and thoughtful. I thought, I would never see her again. Two days later, as I returned to my apartment, I saw a group of 10 girls sitting in the street and others in front of the building. When I entered the lobby, another big group was sitting on the ground next to the elevators. This aroused my curiosity. When I call the lift, my eyes drifted upwards over the huge number of girls who were sitting on the steps going up 4 floors. True to my nature, a spontaneous compliment
was born, "With that many beautiful women, someone will be very happy today!" ... to which they answer in unison ..."Yes, youuuuu!! " Before the most abstract and incredibly beautiful painting of my life, I was devastated. ... God ... you are infinitely great! ... And now ...what should I do? Puzzled...in front of a symphony of burst golden laughter, from those who I would gladly give up with placer, I was looking around searching for the answer to that beautiful miracle that for a moment, made me dream and feel more powerful than a Caesar. To my surprise, one more... up in the stairs, in between the girls, there was the blond "Mara" surrounded by 200 girls who turned out to be her students of painting on porcelain and she had brought them all to take classes from me !. What a great and memorable gesture from Mara towards them and myself. My blonde proved to be amazing and with a lot of class. One of the best people I've ever met in my life in every way. What a beauty, what a heart and what a talent! We celebrated the encounter and to accommodate them all, I placed few nails in each meter of the walls of my four bedrooms apartment. I also installed 4 girls in each bathroom, two in each bath back to back and the rest had no space. They were happy, satisficed to pay to watch how I corrected their friendâ€™s paintings. Mara and her students and friends were the high society of Rio and lots of fun. All was a great experience. I had to split them into 3 classes and occasionally we all went out to paint on the outside where we literally took over a mountain. Later, when I come back alone to my apartment, I found at the door a group of annoyed husbands complaining that their wives had not return back home. Some girls took advantage of the circumstances to disappear with their lovers.
"I promise you, I do not have them !".... I used to say to their husbands to break the ice and ... to save my life !. These girls could also be dangerous!!” Thank God, they all knew that Mara and I had a special relationship otherwise I may have serious problems. We worshiped each other, and they made me feel an infinite power, nobody can play with us. A single woman may seem fragile and innocent but many together become powerful thirsty lionesses with no limits, looking for all the infinites pleasures of life. They have no limits to find whatever they want. They have the right to break the law! … It´s another world ... it is their world!. It was a unique experience, like the carnival in Rio. I was in love with the place and its people, but I was still too young and needed to fly away to see all that was up in the world and meet my fate, which unfortunately I always look for... in a step further. I live in Brazil some of the best moments of my life ; I always want to come back".
In 1971 Ruiz, 22 years old, left Brazil and after passing through Argentina and Peru, installed himself in the U.S.A. i n the Chicago area. He lived at 255 Green Bay Rd. in Lake Forest, ill., the North Shore of Chicago, Mansion of the owner of the Chicago Tribune, the second largest newspaper in the USA. Ruiz exhibited his works at the Gallery Halls of the Mail Advertiser newspaper in the towns of Lake Forest, Highland Park and Deerfield.
Also Ruiz exhibit at Rolls Gallery in the city of Highland Park and at International Galleries and the Rolls Gallery in Chicago. A few months later, Ruiz also travelled and exhibited in Las Vegas and in other parts of America.
That summer of 1971, Ruiz opened 2 of his own Ruiz Galleries on the North Shore of Chicago, one at 463 Central Avenue in Highland Park with a second entrance in Number 1 Sheridan Court and open the other Ruiz Gallery at 800 Elm Street in Winnetka, Illinois, with about 200 sq. meters in a lower floor and the main entrance on the lobby of Lakeside, manage them by Archi Goodroe. In 1971, Ruiz was interviewed by the main newspapers of both the North Shore and Chicago. He was also featured on the news on channel 5 TV and was presented on television at national level by various TV Channels. At the same time, in 1971, Ruiz travels throughout all America. In Las Vegas, Ruiz was presented in TV by the marvelous Hellen Estrada where he met some of the starts of the moment. In one of her TV programs, Ruiz was invited with Mell Brooks and Dean Martin. Ruiz remembers, â€Śâ€?On those times, I did not know anybody by name, even though some of them were the most well-known artists like Dean Martin or Mel Brooks who were sitting down as guest on this TV program.
In the program, at Hellen´s suggestion, I start painting. As I go on, it was normal that she kept asking questions but soon, Mel Brooks stood up closer and started doing the same thing that her. I was not aware of who he was and his sense of humor…and as I painted, he was acting like an absolute drunk asking strange questions… which I must answer. Yes, I know it sounds funny...now !!... Later, I found out that he was impersonating Dean Martin who likes drinking. I did not know he was doing a mimic. Hellen kept quiet and just enjoyed what was happening. The show was great and a true abstract but , I must say that Mel´s funny sense of humor drove me crazy !. I had one of the worst times of my life while Dean Martin and the rest burst out laughing heartily. At the moment, I did not know what was going on and what to do with this ignorant drunk guy. I really believed that Mel Brooks was drunk and I only understood why was a funny situation, after I find out that he was acting. In those times, Ruiz was the pioneer of many things, breaking human frontiers; he was much more than the leader of the Spanish community in America. 1971 in Chicago, Ruiz remembers with fondness his experience with Jim Tilmon. He is one of the historical black leaders of America. Tilmon was the first black person to host a TV program in the USA and Ruiz was his first invited guest . What a great combination for history. Ruiz recalls… It was a Great honor to meet Jim Tilmon. You all must remember that in those early times, 1971, it was not easy to be black or Spanish in America. We were few of the first to break through this close minded
society and earn their respect for our talent and success which helped others who came later. I am glad our paths met and I hope to see him again. It should be much interesting after all the experiences we had . We should make a movie about it !. Jim Tilmon presented me on the premier of his TV program “Tilmon Tempo”. He had never hosted a show before and he was a little worried about the upcoming that make two of us, but as we began, it was all ok. We were born professionals and leaders, so, like they say in America, this was a piece of cake!... Jim, we made an easy fly to history. Jim Tilmon produced this Emmy Award-winning magazine format program called “Tilmon Tempo” on Chicago´s NBC TV, Chan nel 5. About a year later, in an interview to Jim for Ebony magazine, with a photo of Ruiz painting, they will describe his first TV program in such a way… “Toni Barboza,” Jim calls, crisply, standing in the middle of the studio awaiting someone to come plug up his microphone. Toni materializes out of nowhere. “What´s the pronunciation, again, on the artist´s name?” Toni pronounces the name of Manuel Muñoz Ruiz for Jim, again. Jim does a practice reading of the show introduction Toni has written for him, then greets Ruiz who has just arrived. Jim in terviews Ruiz while the artist paints before the cameras. Half way through the painting, producer Joe turner cues Jim for a commercial break… ”
On Jim´s article in Ebony Magazine, we can see the photo of Ruiz creating on the premier TV program “Tilmon Tempo” approximately a year before this interview. Jim is on the left of the photo being adjusted his microphone so it will not show on the screen a s he move around Ruiz who keep on painting as this happens.
Jim Tilmon: Jet Age Renaissance Man April 1973 - Pages 58, 60 and 62. Ebony Vol. 28, n.º 6 – Magazine (written by Monroe Anderson) Chicago, IL.
1971. At the same time of all he was doing, Ruiz travelled, undertook painting demonstrations and exhibits throughout the entire North American continent. He had to change and sleep on planes in
order to attend the five or six openings held every week were usually had to hang up his paintings still fresh, painted just before the inaugurations. Ruiz made all of this happens as he also takes care of his 2 Art Galleries on Chicago’s North Shore, Highland Park and Winnetka . On those times, Las Vegas only had one art gallery and no Museums. Was very important for Las Vegas the arriving of Ruiz. He was the artistic injection that the city needed. On those times, the people there only think on gambling. Was nothing else going on with art. As Suzanne Allan write in his article for the newspaper Las Vegas Sun on June 30, 1972, title “Prolific Young Painter Insp iration” …“Just visiting with Manuel Ruiz is an inspiration to another artist, he is such a vibrant young man and has accomplished so much in so short a time, he makes one feel one should get busy and do all the things one has put aside for another day” Ruiz organized a great exhibit of his paintings on July 2 of 1972. For Las Vegas, the grand opening of the Romajenev Gallery located at 1380 East Sahara Ave , second Art Gallery in the city was the utmost importance. The opening was organized with an exhibition of Ruiz s paintings. There, Ruiz created daily for the clients and for the curious to enjoy. Some of the famous personalities of the time who attended his exhibition were artist such as Helen Estrada, Dean Martin, Mel Brooks, Marty Allan, Perry Como, the Dalai Lama, the wife of Cary Grant and actress Dianne Cannon, Liberace and the son of Frank Sinatra among the many stars and hundreds of other people eager to see Ruiz work..
1972. The Las Vegas Art Museum was the first Museum to buy his work in USA. There, Ruiz exhibit in 1972 helping the birth of the Museum.
Ruiz used to travel with his palette knife only. He would examine the showrooms of the art galleries and then, begin creating the pictures to be displayed in his exhibits, getting everything ready in two or three days, including attention to the press, TV and radio. We must remainder his continuous art demonstrations were he painted in front of his customers and people , some in Galleries, private or voluntary Organizations, Schools, Universities, Country Clubs, Banks, Theaters, Art Fairs or in Television before millions of viewers. Ruiz was responsible for preparing all the stages 3 by 4 meters where he was to appear painting every week such as in art Galleries, Country Clubs, Art Festivals or Art Fairs like the â€œGold Coast Art Fairâ€?, "Rush Street Art Fair", "Old Town Art Fair", "Oak Brooks Art festival", "Wisconsin Art Festival ", "Chicago Art Festival" as well as hundreds of others places. We will devote a special section with all the names that Ruiz remembers. After all the hard work, on many occasions he start to paint with bleeding hands and on an empty stomach because of the rush he live in.
We are trying to put together the complete life story of Manuel Ruiz. We would appreciate your support. If you remember a place where Ruiz exhibited, made an art show, or if you have a press clipping, remember or have a copy of a TV program, or a story about Ruiz or have any photos of Ruiz, you are very welcome to contact and email it to Ruiz so we can complete his biography. Ruiz will certainly appreciated if you have any information you
think would be of interest.Thank you. Please write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org â€œMasterâ€?, as other artist use to called Ruiz ever since he was 12 years old, end up many times painting with damaged fingers by punctures, cuts with blood and pain because of his efforts manipulating heavy cardboard panels used for setting up the stages where he would paint later and from building the walls to display his work in all the Art Fairs. Ruiz did at least 4 exhibits per weekend during 15 years , from 1971. On the weekends, Ruiz day began Friday at 6 am ignoring the early feeling of pain and often without any food for lack of time. Anyhow, Ruiz must honor his reputation and shine through his magic way of painting from 9 am until 3 am of next morning. For three days in a row in which he often painted alternately at 4 Art Fairs at the same time changing location every few hours. This was common for Ruiz throughout the 70's and 80`s, except when traveling to exhibit in other cities in the USA or to Venezuela and Argentina.
From his spontaneity when painting, one could say that Ruiz has created an extraordinary amount of paintings and sculptures ... but they were not as many under the circumstances where Ruiz had to organize everything around him plus help others. In 1971, upon arriving to the US as a tourist, Ruiz had to make many efforts to set up his two galleries and travel being a nonresident. Also he paint in public, do exhibits and TV shows plus always help others and served the public. Ruiz had to work hard to become well known and always with the fear that at any time he could be arrested and deported for not having the legal residence in America. To organize the papers in the US took several years. Ruiz also must take care for his parentâ€™s documents and for their lifeÂ´s.
Ruiz TV programs, exhibitions and demonstrations of all types were well promoted, it would have been easy for the Government to find him and very hard for Ruiz to survive in this situation. The pressure was on all the time. Also, Ruiz had to take the time and effort to make constant trips to South America do to the trials which were underway regarding the illegal appropriation of his land in Argentina. Ruiz had to fight against all the injustice involved with being Spanish in the USA. There, they looked upon him as a â€œLatinoâ€? and more so, as leader of the "Latino" population and just for having talent and success above others. In mid-1971, Ruiz was the first "Latino" to settle in the wealthy north Shore area of Chicago, in Lake Forest, Winnetka and Highland Park where he opened his galleries. He lives in Lake Forest at 255 Greenbay Rd. where Ruiz practiced golf in the back yard of this palace in between woodland with its lake of swans surrounded by parks. A true paradise and inspiration for Ruiz. This mansion bellows to the owner of the Chicago Tribune, the second largest newspaper of America. It took much more than a decade before Blacks, Jews and Latinos, begin to appear there.
Ruiz continued his active life in which he also helped other artists by organizing exhibitions for them. Ruiz also did many demonstrations and donations to help needy people. He painted in Hospitals and schools but he made a special effort by making donations to organizations that helped people in need.
He also allowed the Spanish communities to use his Art Galleries for free for their events. Ruiz personally purchases all the art for his own collection. He acquired some 3.000 works from other artists, some very famous. Ruiz grows up to build 6 art galleries plus his own Ruiz Museum. He managed to buy the largest business property in Winnetka and the only indoor ice skating rink in the city. Ruiz also purchase 2 buildings in the north side of Chicago on Sheridan Rd near of the Lake Michigan and Beacon street with a total of 137 apartments and had 47 employees who helped with all his needs. One third of the calls he received were from people asking for his help. All of this work robbed him a lot of time from painting which he will usually do directly on his presentations, exhibitions, on television and in front of his customers.
Meanwhile, in the early 70's, Perón returned to Argentina and, under the halt of "Viva Perón", squatters settled in Ruiz´s valuable land in Los Troncos, Mar del Plata. This event would change Ruiz´s lif e as he had to travel to Argentina each month to keep up with the trial to recuperate the possession before an intolerable judicial corruption supported by his own lawyers which lasted for 14 long years. In the USA, since 1971, Manuel Muñoz Ruiz (or simply Ruiz as he signs,) produced and directed several TV pr ograms about art where he demonstrated his incredible talent.
In most of them, Ruiz show how to paint as in the programs "Brushing Up With Ruiz", "Techniques of the Great Masters "," Art Forms "," Art for children ", " Art and Music" and “Travelling With Ruiz ". These were the first and only programs of their kind in the U.S. and the world, being totally educational. Although some of Ruiz ideas were later copied in several countries by many producers and artists, his imitators are just followers and they never reached the same quality or success as the genius who inspired them. Some of Ruiz over 1000 television appearances in USA includes: The “ Helen Estrada Show" in Las Vegas, where he also shared an interview with Dean Martin and Mel Brooks, “Channel 5 News”, "Forum", ” Tilmon Tempo”, "Kennedy at Night", "Night Beat", "Saturday Morning with Peter Nuno", "Perry Como Special", “Good Morning America”, "Who's Who", "Las Tardes de Palomo", " Sábados Estelares con Esteban Velazco" (a program that was also broadcast in Mexico), "NBC special on Mexican revolution", "Fritz Sorensen" for U.S. cable, etc. Since 1971, with two Galleries running, Ruiz invested heavily in classical artists, americans like Mary Lusk and impressionist like Maurice Utrillo. Also help other contemporary colleagues from many countries and his father. His art collection grows up with the intention of setting up the Ruiz Art Museum. In 1972 Ruiz co-founded the “Pan American Festival of Art”. Later Ruiz renamed as the "Hispanic Art Festival" held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, opening the doors to all Spanishspeaking artists to have the first opportunity to exhibit at a Museum level in the USA.
He continues to do the same work through his Galleries and later in his own Ruiz Art Museum, his Museum of Hispanic Art and in his Museum of Woman Art. His tree Art Museums are the first of its kind in the world. In 1972, Ruiz rent a shop and set up his third Gallery at 562 Greenbay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois. City Hall made his life impossible, as he remembers: ... "The so call “true Americans” gave me a hard time for being Spanish. I needed to use all my strength and talent to survive. I love the American people and their culture. However, some of the leaders in some wealthy parts of the country, in those antis emit times, did not act in the right way. Because I was Spanish, they wanted me out of their territory. The head of the Fire Department was the inspector of all works done related to what materials may or may not be used for safety before a fire. Misleading me, trying to stop me, he made me change 3 times all the new material that I had install in my new gallery, (roof, ceiling, walls and floor)... he make my life impossible !...all he could. I had to study all the national laws and also their book for the local lows...”their own laws”. As I complained, he told me, (with a good reason) ... "actually I'm your only friend here, if I were you, I would pack and leaved" ...he was giving me a warning to get me out of there lyrically in a true farwest style. Instead of telling him “you had better never come back here”, maybe I should have listened and probably I would have saved a lot of energy and many years of hardship and sacrifice to make justice and at the same time, make my dreams come true.” Finally, in 1973, Ruiz opened his third "Ruiz Gallery" at 562 Greenbay Road, Winnetka, Chicago `s North Shore.
As Ruiz grew up financially, he began to feel the pressure of local racism that was trying to push him out of there for being "Latino". Ironically, Ruiz is Hispanic but was born in Spain and is as European as the ancestors of all the people living there. Ruiz continued to win his particular war to death... with talent, art, hard work and success. His fame and fortune continued to grow but Ruiz prefers to buy works of art before eating. In 1973, he acquired more paintings by Marie K. Lusk, who, in Ruiz opinion; she is one of the best artists of all time. Ruiz purchased several paintings by important c lassic artists and also supported others artists through buying their works and organizing exhibits of young painters such as Vince Tutwiler, David Tutwiler, Chuck Mardozs and others. Of course always help and support his own father. For all of them, Ruiz was happy to organize exhibitions and to purchase their art works even though, he never made a personal profit in doing so . In 1975 the war with Winnetka City Hall, again, was officially on. As Ruiz grows in success, Ruiz purchased the property with the largest business shop in Winnetka and bearing the code of the village, was the only enclosed ice skating rink of the city and a full city block deep with access to 3 streets. RuizÂ´s intention was to build his own Art Museum. This caused lots of problems for the Villa of Winnetka which was obligated to spend millions of dollars to build for their people, a new enclosed ice skating rink on a new parcel of land. Naturally, they blamed Ruiz for everything. Ruiz intention was to build his own "Ruiz Studio, Gallery & Museum of Art" which finally he managed to do in 1976.
Ruiz think over, “In a crazy way, I can understand their feelings. We must bear in mind that in such a cold and elite city, skating is the most popular sport for children and adults to practice and have fun on the ice , all year around.” Because of Ruiz´s purchases and plans, the citizens then had to wait 2 years for the City Council which, forced by circumstances, had to build the new ice rink. This was at great additional cost to the residents and was not even situated in the town center. Everybody had to drive to get to it. Ruiz recalls … "They were angry and detached from their cult’s mannerisms. It was very hard, I had touched their essence and they did not mind skipping all the laws that they respected and they had issued. They would not issue me the licenses to remodel or to open. They even contact my bank in Chicago to cancel the loan I had. They manage to do it easily because they owned Chicago and have all the right connections to do anything they wanted. They pursued me constantly, sedated my dogs inside the Museum and even recorded my conversations. I surprise the police inside my apartment for no reason, without any excuse and without permission. They had broken in trough my side door and as I come in, they were trying to go out true the roof. They always say that they were just “following orders”. For driving at 20 miles per hour, I was fined for doing 80. The police had received the order to ticket me, even without driving, with the idea of making me lose my license. I had traffic tickets growing out of my ears!. I needed two secretaries and 2 cars to take me outside of the Winnetka city limits and to collect me on my way back. A real pain on the ass!... just as they want it.
I bought a new white Cougart and it was delivered to my place with a ticket on !! ..before I get into the car!. Yes,.. I got the message to get out of their city !!. They knew in advance what the car´s license plate will be and at what time the Agency would deliver it to me. They were waiting outside, ticket in hand to give it to me. The policeman laughing apologized and told me “he had to do what he was told”. I was planning to surprise my girlfriend with this new car. Nobody knew I had bought it in a different city and by telephone “except the police”. I must have been a high priority to them…and they follow orders from above??… This people must really believe in God !!. It was a true achievement to survive there . We must remember that the city of Winnetka was the 3rd richest town p er capita in the USA. They made my life virtually impossible”.
In a book about his life, Ruiz recalls many stories, important events and achievements that had to experience to reach success and to survive in an American society where the elite in those days was full of racial prejudice and did not look well upon the blacks, Jews and even less, the "Latinos", who were not yet a disturbing community but, for example, none of these races, to call them in any way, on those times, were allow to have business or buy a property in Winnetka, one of the richest town of US, inhabited by Americans of European descendent who believed that the arrival of Ruiz would end up attracting other Latinos, then blacks and this would inevitably bring crime and depreciate the value of their properties. The war was on. Ruiz failed to open his businesses immediately because the hierarchy in charge of the City did not approve at all of Ruiz, a "Latino" trying to build a business in their city. This delay was going against Ruiz financial interests. The City Council, led by prejudiced local residents, would not give Ruiz the permits to remodel and open his business. They were trying to force Ruiz to leave the city and to
go bankruptcy. Ruiz comments ... "I was saved financially because of the amount of exhibitions I undertook, art fairs and demonstrations I performed especially for artist guilds, women´s associations and country clubs where I charged $ 5,000 dollars for one hour painting demonstration answering their questions in a brunch or lunch for about 500 ladies. My clients were always my unconditional friends and supporters , they are a great inspiration for my drive and the fact that we share a moment in life, a feeling and an idea each time I created a painting, it makes them part of my life. Additionally, the TV programs, radio shows and interviews in newspapers were always my allies and aided my cause and my spirit. Ironically, the mens who wanted to make me fail and get me out of there were the ones whose wife’s buy my paintings behind them to help me to survive. After trying to remodel the building in a legal way for over a year without any positive results from the City Hal l, Ruiz decided to do all the remodeling without permits and launched a retaliation war back against the City Council and its officers with many anecdotes that brought him to “life or death” situations. Ruiz comment, "I tried by all means, with 3 different lawyers and architects but did not work. I decided to give the job to local architects and lawyers and they refuse to charge me anything because they knew everybody and they tell me the city would never give me the permits because I was Spanish,… Latino to them. They were scare that more Spanish will come after me and then the blacks will show up in Winnetka. The security of their families was in danger and their property values will go down. Their way of life will be finish.
Anyway, I asked the architect to come with me to the next meeting at City Hall. I had to go in against their will and break into their meeting room where I drop my project plans onto the table. I told them what I was going to do at 8 am next day and if anyone bothered me, I will go to the television and newspapers and I would make sure that all America would know what was happening in Winnetka. After the many years of hostilities with the intention of forcing me into bankruptcy, I had no choice but to face the war. I decided to remodel all the building to make the Museum without their permission, â€œillegallyâ€?, which practically almost cost my life, but I did it. In my forced anti-racial struggle, I think I lost 10 years of great moments that would surely have been more productive if I have continued growing elsewhere. But I am a free spirit, never like limits or being told what to do. I was there in Winnetka, a beautiful place and I like to stay and make it more beautiful. I must do what was in my heart; there were no other choice left, only unjustness. If I had not done it, who would had been so hard and had have the talent and little common sense to counteract such irrational force from the most powerful people of United States?. They own Chicago and much more !. In the midst of remodeling morning, working with a bulldozer and trucks to remove all the sand and lift the thousands of feet of tubing that used to cool the ice, soon, I heard sirens of all kinds, never occurred something like that in such a rich and secure town. For the rush and the noise looks like the end of the world was coming!!. From the back street, one mile each way, I saw ambulances, firefighters and about 20 police cars that come in my direction at all speed making a lot of noise. I thought that something big was happening somewhere close by. I went to take another look in the front street of my building and I saw that they cut off the road with police cars on the street corners on
both sides of my Gallery Museum. I did not spot a fire or any other problem,… but suddenly, as I am looking for the answer standing on the middle of the street,…I had a vision that they were coming for me…. My time had come! They began to evict all the residents of the block, …all except me ... They did not even looked for me. I thought ... they are coming to kill me and do not want any witnesses ... them, they will say I did something wrong and I was done for !. Well, I thought ... if I am going to die, they will have to kill me here, in the middle of the street, and hopefully someone will see it. So, I decided to stand in the middle of that bleak, empty street. I stayed there until night time when the police allowed all the residents to return to their homes. I keep looking at the roofs, windows and anywhere else from where they might shoot me. In the 14 hours that last the operation, nobody spoke to me, not even the police or the authorities that were there and direct everything behind the streets corners. Using the radio of one of the trucks that came to remove the debris, I offered extra money to the owner of the company to keep the trucks coming until the end of the job. The police tried to stop them but they continued to enter until they had cleared everything out of the skating rink. I imagine the big bosses realized at that moment that it was the best solution to finish the problem. It was not until days later I learned that the tubes that had cooled the ice of the rink contained toxic gas and in such quantities, it would have killed me for sure. Ironically, saved my life spending so many hours in the middle of the street waiting to be killed. “They” did not tell me anything about my life being on danger and I just suffered with dizziness and vomiting as did the Bulldozer driver and few of the truck drivers.
With a lot of effort and without any permits until the “opening day”, finally I finish the remodeling”
Ruiz Studio, GaIlery and Museum of Art .
Was the first and only private Art Museum worldwide. Located at 915 Linden Ave, Winnetka, IL. Chicago´s north shore, USA. Finally, talent, passion, imagination and determination led Ruiz to found his private Museum with about 5.000 sq meters built in a Mediterranean style. At the same time, in 1976, Ruiz created the first Hispanic Art Museum and the Woman Art Museum. All were the first Museums in the world of its kind, privates and at the same time owned by an artist. Ruiz presented exhibits, concerts, musical shows and gatherings with a capacity for 1200 people. Grew up to have 47 people attending his galleries, moving works, framings, preparing presentations, organizing shows and art fairs, sales, secretaries, cleaning, security, etc..
Detail of the Ruiz Studio, Gallery and Museum of Art It was there you could appreciate in addition to his own work, his collection of classical masters such as Marie K. Lusk, Zurbaran, Goya, Julio Romero de Torres, Joaquin Sorolla, Murillo, Healey, Brooks, English, Nolde, Maurice Utrillo, Degas, Cezanne, Rodin, Diego Rivera, W. Homer, Remington, Quinquela Martinâ€Ś Also others such as Mir, Fortuni, Villegas, Ressendi, Garcia y Ramos, Benlliuren, Jimenez Aranda, Igor, Maifren, Casas, etc.
From 1972 onwards, in his Galleries and Museum, Ruiz organized exhibitions of the best artist from Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and México . These were conducted jointly with the National Museum of Mexico City, DF. Hundreds of artists were introduced by Ruiz for the first time in USA as R. Noriega M, Guayasamín, Vgar, M.M. Mérida, etc . Also, Ruiz presented and promoted European artists, some of them from Spain like the sculptor from Córd oba, father Segundo Gutierrez and Ronald Rae from Scotland. Ruiz help all the Latin American communities and became the Centre of all the exhibitions and activities conducted by Latino communities in Chicago until 1988, the moment when his father passed away in Spain and Ruiz decided to return to his roots. At his Museums and galleries, Ruiz also presented bands, dancers, poets, writers, comics, singers, special movies and everything artistic right up to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
July 4, 1976. We see the “Ruiz Stand” in the photo during the International USA Expo commemorating the bicentennial of the Independence of America, held at the Navy Pier of Chicago. This was the largest American celebration, and it was visited by over 90 million people. Ruiz was the only individual person and only artist with a “Private Stand” among 190 participating countries including Spain that had the largest Pavilion.
In 1976, Ruiz also founded the "Women Art Museum", first worldwide, brilliant idea that years later somebody copied in Washington. At the same time, Ruiz founded the â€œMuseum of Spanish Artâ€?. This idea was also copied later by the Spanish community of Chicago.
For lack of space, all the Museums operated from the space of the Ruiz Museum in Winnetka, IL. Eventually, Ruiz wanted to expand them all together to Navy Pier in Chicago. Ruiz is the artist alive that has had the greatest financial success above all the artists in art history.
In 1976 SABA (Spanish American Business Association) led by Antonio Irizarry, another great leader of the Latino community, named Ruiz the Man of the Year for all his achievements, the development of the arts and his help to others in need. Ruiz continued his work on the edge of the impossible. In 1977 Ruiz was voted "Professional of the Week". Competition held and voted for by the press and the Latin American television.
T h a t s a m e ye a r , R u i z w a s a l s o aw a r d e d t h e P r e s i d e n t Â´ s G o l d M e d a l b y t h e M u n i c i p a l Ar t L e a g u e o f C h i c a g o , o n e o f t h e oldest and finest cultural organizations in America. The medal was presented to Ruiz at one of his exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago by the County C o m m i s s i o n e r o f C h i c a g o , C o l o n e l F r a n k W . C h e s r ow a n d t h e D i r e c t o r o f t h e M u s e u m . R u i z w a s a wa r d e d t h e m e d a l f o r his fine quality of art work and the interest he has taken in organizing the Chicago area Art Exhibits. His contributions w er e u n p a r a l l e l e d b o t h t o t h e Ar t s a n d t o t h e Am e r i c a n culture.
1977. Despite not having time, Ruiz decided to accept an invitation to exhibit in Caracas, Venezuela. The invite came from the German Gallery owner Lynn Grossberg to exhibit in the Haiti Gallery in Caracas. This would allow Ruiz to take a vacation from his dizzying life, calm the nerves, relax and look at things from another perspective. Ruiz exhibited in Caracas, in Lynn Grossberg Galleries, Gallery Haiti, Gallery San SoussĂ of Pablo Cornago in Centro Comercial ChacaĂto and in the Panorama Gallery at Hotel Tamanaco . Here, the owners stole 80 of Ruiz works and disappeared without paying. We believe that they went to Florida, USA. In Caracas, Ruiz met singers like Armando Manzanero and Puma Rodriguez among other personalities related to the a rts and culture of Venezuela. Ruiz was presented regularly on the only TV channel in the country, in the famous TV program of 12 hours, "Sabados sensacionales con Amador Vendayan" with who Ruiz began a beautiful friendship and continued to visit his program for 3 years. Ruiz appeared in the press in a number of magazines and on the front page of 2001, best newspaper and magazine of Venezuela at the time.
WILL CONTINUE RUIZ BIOGRAFY IN FEW MORE WEEKS