“The portraits of artist Ruben Ireland hang like depictions of unknown saints. Heroes from a forgotten folklore. Ireland shows women as mystics – clean and crisp in an epic state of calm.” -Chris Jalufka/EvilTender
Ruben Ireland has a complicated relationship with women. Okay, no, I don’t know that for sure, but once you see his art, you have to wonder from whence these women come. Maybe he was raised by Wiccan Amazons with Hunger Games-level skills and a fondness for black, maybe he’s the secret sidekick of a female superhero with fantastic hair, or maybe he just read a lot of Tank Girl growing up. Who knows?
Maddeningly, none of the personal details I managed to unearth about him seemed to point to any of these scenarios, so I’ll just have to be content with my imagination. Actually, I was pretty surprised to learn that it was a man painting these portraits. His work just feels so genuinely female. (That is not a criticism of men.) His subjects are attractive and a bit sensual, but not at all sexualized. And after watching the video interview below, I concluded that he seems like a pretty sweet, normal guy. The plot thickens!
Whatever his story, I am glad he’s out there in the world, making art about fierce women.
All images property of Ruben Ireland.