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Ruby City announces acquisition of Gillian Wearing's acclaimed photograph
Gillian Wearing, Me as an Artist, 1984.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Ruby City announced the acquisition of Gillian Wearing’s photograph, Me as an Artist in 1984, a self-portrait of the artist in her studio, donning a haunting, flesh-toned mask of her own face and surrounded by work she made at age 20. Known for her affiliation with the Young British Artists, the 1997 Turner Prize-winner’s practice centers around the documentation of everyday life. Her work often addresses ideas of anonymity and role-play in addition to the concealed self, speaking to the complex perceptions of being a maker.

Over the past 15 years, Wearing has used silicon prosthetics to reconstruct a number of family photographs, transforming herself into her parents, brother and uncle as well as her younger self as a way of drawing a physical connection between herself and others with whom she shares a genetic link. She has also employed this technique to imagine herself as other famous artists, including Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Claude Cahun and August Sander. In each of these works, the meticulous disguises combined with the recreated details of the original images seem to reveal aspects of her identity rather than conceal it.

Me as an Artist in 1984 is the first work by Wearing to join the Linda Pace Foundation permanent collection, and will complement the collection’s overarching themes of female identity and notions of place. The work joins seminal paintings, sculptures, videos and works on paper by artists whose work also addresses memory, both real and imagined, including Forrest Bess, Surasi Kusolwong, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Wangechi Mutu and Shahzia Sikander.

Gillian Wearing was born in 1963 in Birmingham and lives and works in London. An important member of the Young British Artists, Wearing was awarded the Turner Prize in 1997. In 2012, Whitechapel Art Gallery in London presented a major retrospective of the artist’s work, which traveled to K20 Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen In Dusseldorf, and to Pinakothek der Moderne’s Museum Brandhorst in Munich in 2013. Wearing’s permanent sculpture A Real Birmingham Familyopened in 2014 in Centenary Square outside the new Library of Birmingham, UK, and her statue of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett stands on London’s Parliament Square.

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