Conrad Ruiz

Dec 3rd, 2012

What’s your uniform?  Maybe dressing helps you create a new identity every day. Maybe you don the same items each morning because you know what works.  We talked to some of our favorite creative people about how they suit up.

U: What is your uniform, the clothes and gear you need to face the day?

CR: From bottom to top: boots, black socks,  jeans, black undies,  plaid shirt with Patagonia light jacket. Backpack containing sun block, water, string cheese, Gushers fruit snacks, and instant coffee. 

I would like to be prepared for everything, and to not get sunburned.

U: Why? Does it perform a function, embody an ethos, remind you of a feeling or time or place? Is it for you or for others?

CR: I used to travel a lot to sketchy places, so I always feel like I need be wearing an outfit that allows spontaneous running, punching and hopping over walls. Also, I haphazardly wander between very different Los Angeles neighborhoods, just to get my errands done.  I always feel like I am underdressed and overdressed in the same day.  My uniform only fits in smutty bars in Highland Park, Los Angeles.  

U: What would you add if you could? 

CR: I would add a helmet with a propeller on top so I could get out of sticky situations faster.  They make condoms that create a warm and cold sensation.  Maybe a box of that as well. 

U: And what would you get rid of?

CR: If the Gushers get smashed they have to go.  I don’t throw them out though, I suck the packaging and stare  at  cars  as  they drive  by. 

U: Whose uniform do you admire, even if it's something that wouldn't work for you?

CR: Cholos (Latino thugs or street gang members) look clean when it’s done right.  White shirt, sunglasses (locs), creased khakis, and Nike Cortez shoes.  That wouldn’t work for me very well since those guys hang out all day, and I cross neighborhoods.  Not safe, even with a propeller helmet.


Conrad Ruiz received his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2009 and now lives in Los Angeles. In addition to his previous solo exhibition at Jessica Silverman Gallery, Ruiz has shown at Yautepec Gallery in Mexico City, the Berkeley Art Museum and Torrance Art Museum. His work is in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Vincent Worm’s ArtNow International Collection.

Conrad shared images from here, here, here, here and here.