About the Artist
(Mixed Media, 3D)
Born in Laufenburg, Switzerland, I was growing up and living in Germany until I moved to the US in 2003, and to Eugene/OR in 2010.
My art career is short, and it started by mere coincidence.
After an over 25 years long involvement in creating designs for t-shirts and commemorative coins, and after having moved to Eugene and becoming friends with artists, the desire of creating art not for customers but art that reflects my own thoughts and beliefs, in particular about social justice & environmental issues, has been growing in me.
A wrong production run of for Guantanamo Bay, coins in the shape of the actual prison keys used at Guantanamo Bay, was the initiator of me eventually entering creating arts in 2020 – rather than throwing the keys away, I wanted to put them to use and to discuss a topic that envelops all of us: imprisonment & freedom, in the widest meaning of these two words. An artwork concept developed, and it was brought to life under the name “Liberation” in collaboration with three artist friends. This experience of creating art and hearing & seeing the viewers’ reactions to it and their engagement with it was highly rewarding. With no shortage of topics, I wanted to address I started creating more art, and became member of the New Zone Artist Collective in Eugene in 2020.
My ‘natural choice’ was mixed media assemblage, and I would call my style ‘art with purpose’, leaning towards conceptual art but with higher emphasis on execution and esthetics. All elements used for my work are found, reused, or repurposed.
Jumping back to 1978- I have been an avid student of the industrial revolution and the social issues it created. My studies in this field earned me two 2nd Place awards in Germany’s Federal President’s competition of historic studies, in 1978 and 1979.
Fast forward again– what I found & learned during these studies, and the pictures and images my mind created back then, I never forgot. The images of child labor in particular. With the new opportunity of discussing child labor via art, I put all energy and focus during 2021 on this very subject which resulted in a body of work that allowed for my special exhibition about child labor, “Turning the/into Tools”, in December 2021 at the New Zone Gallery in Eugene.
2022 brought the Track & Field World Championships to Eugene – and the need for addressing the nature and the expense of the stadium spectacles in times of multiple global crises which Sandy Sanders, Asante Riverwind, and myself did with the “Panem et Circenses (Bread and Circuses)” exhibit at the New Zone Gallery during the month of July 2022. - Ralf Huber