Ruby Anemic in Creem

Text and photography by Daniel Cassady

There is a tendency among artists to feel the need to explain their work. Some artists plant their feet on the defensive side and justify their aesthetic decisions, others want to give the viewer context, so that their work can be experienced in the way it was intended. Ruby Anemic, who’s show, Slower Than God, opened last week at the De Buck Gallery doesn’t feel that it’s necessary to give grounds for his decisions. “In art, I am my own master,” he says when asked about the juxtapositions of text based pieces and visual ones, “what’s important to me is doing what feels right. I have to be true to my instincts, even if I don’t know why I’ve chosen a certain text to sit next to a visual piece. My instincts tell me it’s right and true, so it is. At least for now.” Anemic talks about his art in a very relaxed, personal way, as if the work on display were not a grouping of different pieces but a whole entity, one he is very familiar with. And the collection itself, when viewed as a whole, does have what feels like personality, character. There’s a pushing and pulling within the work that people resembles a persons inner dialogue. A row of saw-back knives line one wall, and the opposite wall is mounted with a row of padlocks. There are dual manifestos with twenty points each, one stating how to become your own master, the other how to become a slave. “I am always in a dialogue with my work,” Anemic says, “and what’s important is doing something that feels right.”