Igor Ruz is a Chilean artist primarily working in the medium of illustration; whist also exploring the worlds of painting, collage and found video. With his illustrations and painting taking you to a place of beauty, depravity, romance and destruction – Were young men lovingly destroy themselves and each other.
An aesthetic best summed up as abjection meets love, or for a more direct reference; as the Japanese manga style of Ero Guro meets the coldly transgressive fiction of queer American writer Dennis Cooper.
Wanting to get to know him better, we sent Igor some questions to answer over email.
Take a dive into his world below…
Name + D.O.B?
Igor Ruz López
born on April 26, 1988.
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Now I live in Coquimbo, located in the fourth region of Chile.
City, State and Country you’re from?
I was born in Santiago, Chile.
Raised in Cerrillos, Metropolitan Region.
Please describe some memories – such as art, music, friendships, adventures, study, romance, politics, work, crime, religion… Anything really – from the stages of your life noted below:
* Your childhood:
I was a very sissy child, surrounded by brothers and sister (we are 5) in a working class family in the early 90s in Chile.
* Your tweens:
I hated school, I have the worst memories of that time, I was a nerd so I locked myself in my drawings and things that began to interest me as an escape route for my mind.
Very anxious too (so far.)
* Your teenage years:
I came out of the closet as a very evident fag, I had my first boyfriend at 17.
I was very interested in learning and knowing about art, music, cinema, culture, trash, etc., everything that the 2000s internet could show me, that made my life and school years a little more pleasant.
* Your 20s:
I started looking for and developing my own artistic language, and eventually sharing my work on the internet.
Very amateurish, low quality and low budget.
I lived in Santiago at that time, it was a very messy time for me, I was young so, it was fun.
My first experience with death, a boyfriend who died very young, he is still in my heart.
At 26 I moved to the city of Valparaíso, it was good and a mess at the same time.
There I met my friends and loved ones to this day.
* Your 30s so far:
As an artist, I am still learning a lot, I like to feel that I can experiment more with formats and techniques. I take inspiration from many sides so I feel that my ideas can be reflected in drawing, sound, and video.
I don’t feel satisfied with everything I do, I’m just obsessive. I keep developing an idea or a project until it gets close to the result that I see in my mind, it never happens but I think it’s okay.
Life in general no longer excites me so much, but I feel calm and more focused on what interests me.
Being an adult in the best possible way.
I don’t have one.
When and why did you first become interested in art and everything creative?
… and any pivotal creative moments / influences?
I have always drawn, all my life. I had notebooks with drawings that I made of cartoons that I liked or my own character designs, comics and things like that.
When I was 12 I started to watch anime on TV and VHS. I also bought anime magazines, I remember that it blew my mind: the drawing style, the colors, the eyes, the themes, I had never seen something like that, it seemed beautiful to me and so awesome. It had everything I liked: violence, blood, science fiction, the first fictional queer characters I met came from there.
Also when anime arrived in Chile it was very controversial, it was forbidden for people my age at that time, so that made me even more interested. I think it expanded my idea of what art is.
If you had to explain your art and creative endeavors to some recently crash-landed aliens…
What would you tell them?
I would tell them that my art is gay porn close to ugliness, something like a nightmare.
Probably talking to them about misery porn.
Please describe your usual process for creating your art: From initial idea, to creation and eventual completion?
I tend to exploit an idea until exhaustion, until it loses its meaning.
I make a lot of drawings with the same idea, only the elements change a bit. It’s not very creative but I like to know how far I can go.
I like the creative freedom that drawing gives, the fiction, especially with darker concepts.
In the technical part I usually take many references to existing images, I still have my entire archive of Tumblr images, which is basically porn, gore, art, random and weird things.
I try to spend as many hours a day drawing, or creating, in order to finish my projects, then I start a new one, of the same line or something different.
I really like working at night, by the way.
Who are some of your favorite artists, musicians and writers?
…and what is it about their works that so inspire and move you?
Suehiro Maruo, Trevor Brown, Gea *, Noir Yaguara, Kondom (Teruo Kakuta), Jukka Siikala, Mavado Charon, Tisbor, Bazooka Collective, 90s Hate Culture Zine FUCK! by Dr. Randall Phillip, Peter Sotos (essentially his work “PURE”), Kiyotaka Tsurisaki, Sasayama Naoki, Jimmy ScreamerClauz, Jeff Keen (Filmmaker), Vaughan Oliver (Graphic Designer at 23 Envelope), body fluid performances by Otmar Bauer and Günter Brus (Impudence in Grunewald), Jean-Louis Costes, People Like Us (Vicky Bennett).
Kaoru Adachi‘s “Death File” video series.
Movies by: Alan Clarke, Catherine Breillat, Marian Dora, Jörg Buttgereit, Todd Verow, Brazilian filmmaker Gurcius Gwedner‘s “Mamilos em chamas” (Film starring by two dead rabbits handled like puppets, it’s fascinating)
I recently discovered the work of Christopher Rage. He was a porn filmmaker, actor, singer, a really fascinating artist, I consider his films as extreme cinema. In his videos there is a lot of shit, fistings, giant dildos, pissing men.
He also composed the background music for his movies, like loops, distorted voices, weird electronic sounds, very experimental … I fell in love with his work.
Some of the music I’ve been listening to recently are Chilean pioneer electro-techno-pop band “Arteknia” (their 1995 album “La Última Tierra”) and the great “Croatian king of funk” Dino Dvornik (1964-2008).
If people wanted to work with you or buy some of your wares – How should they get in touch and where should they visit?
Any upcoming projects you would like to mention?
I am preparing a couple of self-published zines and the last part of “Obsceno Mixtape”, a series of video mixtapes that I made during 2020 and 2021.
Odds and Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – Where and when would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?
What role did toys play in your childhood?
Very important to me, I remember my stuffed animals and pirate action figures of “Saint Seiya” that could not stand upright and their faces were deformed.
I also remember in particular a pirate version of Tamagotchi that my dad gave me at Christmas, very cool.
Who was your 1st crush?
…and why were you so infatuated with them?
At 16 or 17 I had a Morrissey poster in my room, it looked sexy.
Another important crush was Damon Albarn (Blur) what a beautiful man.
Does sex change everything?
I guess so, for better or worse.
When I was younger that was kind of uncomfortable, but now I just have fun.
What are the top 3 items you own?
Björk – Debut (Island Records, 1993) Cassette.
A cool gift from my mom when I was 13 years old. It was one of my first cassettes.
Part of my collection of Tazos from “Saint Seiya” (1994).
I had the complete collection but I lost some and others were damaged.
Distortion Modeler DM100 Behringer.
It can be connected to different instruments or objects that emit sound and create interesting distortions.
This clown seems to me like a paranormal monster, he can kill Mr T through a hallucination or a deadly nightmare, like IT or Freddy Krueger.
Please describe your last dream in detail…
Before I used to remember my dreams, something happens now that I only sleep and do not remember anything, I sleep for a short time, between 5 to 6 hours usually.
Of everything you have done, what would you most like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for my art.
I wish my work would end up hidden somewhere weird on the internet and that suddenly in the future it would emerge as rare and lost material.