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no going back. The lasting influence of pop culture imagery, however, is plain to see in his work and has seen Ruston’s star rise exponentially since his full time return to the art world little more than two years ago. Unafraid to use any medium or material within his reach Ruston’s work can at once be seen as aesthetically eye pleasing, complex artistic creations and also a sometimes raw and painful examination of the subtext to the messages that we are bombarded with by the global media industry 24 hours a day. Iconic images, cut out newspaper and magazine headlines and call girl flyers in telephone boxes – everything has an underlying truth and, being a former exponent in the art of subliminal manipulation, Nicolas Ruston is singularly equipped to decode these messages and he means to bring us the truth behind them in the best way he knows how. Best known for his intricate scratch paintings – individual layers of paint are applied to a canvas and the artist takes to it with a knife or a scalpel before it dries – he has also been known to

use materials such as MDF, silicone, supermarket shelves and even discarded McDonald’s fries cartons to create his work. Sometimes those creations can be as involving and intriguing as Necessary Illusions and Consumption or as cold and calculated as Women For Sale and Rape and Slavery. Now that the notoriety and appreciation of his art is rising so rapidly you can find his work in exhibitions and private, as well as corporate, collections the world over. Wider public exposure is guaranteed when the movie Dead Man Running opens worldwide in November 2009 where Ruston’s art plays a key role in the plot. Ruston’s newest work can be seen at the DE$IRE exhibition in West London until mid October 2009. True to his contemporary and controversial form, Ruston includes a room size installation at this exhibition that fuses the vacuous nature of a porno movie set with the dungeon where notorious convicted serial rapist, Austrian Josef Fritzl, imprisoned his own daughter for 24 years. Not content with just holding up a mirror to our own sensibilities, Ruston titles this installation Euphoria.

It’s easy to see he’s revelling in the growing freedom he now has to shock, excite, surprise and engage us, experimenting with even bigger ideas and higher concepts. As an artist he truly subscribes to the theory that any reaction, good or bad, is preferable to indifference. Thankfully, getting a reaction is not the basis on which his creative process is built. With room to breathe Ruston’s work is also expanding into new mediums and reaching new venues. The next 6-12 months will see him open an exhibition in conjunction with luxury department store Harvey Nichols at their flagship site in Hong Kong. He’s also currently collaborating with celebrated English composer Paul Gladstone-Reid on a multi media performance piece based on his silicone painting Brave New World to be staged by the Royal Ballet Company in 2010. These and other projects will ensure that Nicolas Ruston will soon be a name well known even outside the world of art.

The DE$IRE exhibition is at Holster Projects, 81 Westbourne Park Road, London W2, until 10th October.

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Profile for Urban Life Magazine

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

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