Ruben Echeverria, Ruda, was born in London. Coming from a ballet dancer mother and a choreographer father who toured the world showcasing their work, Ruda had an international upbringing, spending his early years drifting between Milan, Rio de Janeiro and New York City until the family decided to settle in Caracas, Venezuela. Perhaps unknowingly rebelling against the artistic background he was raised in, he decided to study law and went on to practice as a sports lawyer for a few years before starting clothing line Animal Tropikal, an experience that opened up a world of possibilities. He currently serves as the brand’s art director as well as fashion designer.
Having flirted with pattern design, silk screening, ceramic sculpture and photography, Ruda has recently focused his creative interests in the new ugly, an artistic language he develops daily to create a place where adult experiences converge with a condition he describes as “arrested development”. In his creation, the aesthetic appearance is overridden by the conceptual discourse, which he displays in a vast variety of mediums he claims not to fully master.
Through painting, illustration, collage, ceramics, video-art and photography, Echeverria’s work remains colorful and playful while satirically referencing themes that are uncertain at the very least. Ruda dwells in the absurd world of collectibles, cartoons, memes and sports, enjoys some despair and pointlessness in his literature and song, and deals with relationships, sexuality, work, gender roles and death.
He believes in the almightiness of the Internet, “it somehow ties the room together”. He has embraced its chaos, often interacting on various platforms, which has led to questions about the meaning of his “performances” if they can even be called such a thing.
The artist is currently based in Venezuela, which does not go unnoticed in his body of work. Having time and space to create and find himself while Caracas lives in a tacit lockdown, while coming up with his own version of freedom when he and his friends ramble the dangerous empty streets at night redecorating his hometown, he has developed a taste for the unusual. In 2017 he participates in the Venezuelan group Todo lo Bueno, a generation of artists known to be good-4-nothings yet bad-2-no-one.