Anabel Ruiz
Anabel Ruiz

Anabel was born in La Habana, Cuba, in 1974, in a Cuba that was picturesque, quirky and resourceful – a Cuba that laughed through the pain – characteristics that are reflected in her own persona. Her family left Cuba for Spain when she was 9, and there her father secured a scholarship for her to a private Catholic school. It was here that she began to acquire her appreciation for art, at that time mostly for the great classic artists and their works; and it was here that her formation as a self-taught artist commenced.

She was uprooted again at 14 when her family moved to the US, to Miami, like so many other Cuban exiles, to make a new life.

Her high school education complete, she studied Business Administration, deaf to the voice of her soul that constantly reminded her that her passion is art and that her life should follow that passion. And so she graduated from college very well prepared to “make a living”, but empty and dissatisfied; knowing that making a living is not equal to living itself, but blind to her true calling and not knowing where to turn. In the midst of this existential search for meaning her life suddenly took a 180 degree turn and she decided to become a nun, entering religious life.

She entered two different congregations in different parts of the world, first in Miami, followed by service in Fatima, Portugal. During eight years of religious service, bound by vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, she anonymously produced dozens of art works in different mediums; works that currently grace churches, convents and the homes of private church patrons.

In 2011, after much soul searching, she envisioned a different future for herself and left religious life, returning to Miami, to face new challenges and create a new future.

Artist Statement
If I were to describe what I do from the surface, from a practical perspective, I’d recur to the words we find in the definition of collage: cutting, layering, pasting. These are gestures, descriptions of the process. But to me, collage is much more than that. It’s a personal choice in art medium that reveals who I am today and the personal history that has brought me to the present time. ​It is said that resistance to being dominated was a key factor in driving the evolutionary emergence of human consciousness, language, kinship and social organization, and I am a firm believer of this truth… I have lived this truth. This belief permeates what I do as an artist and it’s at the core of my evolution as such. Collage allows me to gather and organize disparate elements found in magazines, books or other printed media, to present a unified work of art. It’s a lot like life, that presents us with fresh and new possibilities every single day, while it’s our job to choose and perform, while these components work together to make it ours, our life, and thus be co-creators in this already created universe.

Every day, without them knowing it, I choose to work with the greatest publishers, the most superb designers, the most diverse models… an infinite world of pleasure where Isubmerge myself through collage.

Artworks by Anabel Ruiz

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