This is Christy Rupp. You can call me Christy. I’m an American. I started to live in lower Manhattan in my 20s. I’m turning 69 years old this year. I always had strong interest towards visual art. You can tell about my fields by knowing where I went to study. I went to Colgate for University. After that, in 1974, I spent a year in Rhode Island School of Design for my M.A.T.. In 1977, I pursued my M.F.A. degree at Rinehart School of Sculpture in Maryland Institute College of Art. In that year, I started to have my work publicly shown and known. My first work was the Rat Patrol. I know a lot of artists and probably many of you use social medias such as Instagram, I do too, but I never really post my work on there. If you want to look up my work, you can always check out my website.
If you see me at an exhibition opening, you’ll probably see me wearing a colorful, statement necklace from my necklace collection. If it is freezing, which often is the case here in New York, I wear colorful scarves a lot too. I dress up a little bit for formal occasions such as openings. A dress and a statement necklace, or a crop top with jeans are just perfect. I’d like to keep my outfit comfortable and simple, and of course, easy to work in.
Back to my experience, after I finished my study at MiCA in 1977, I had exhibitions in early artist run spaces. We, a group of aspiring artists, illegally occupied the building belonged to the city and had our Real Estate Show. I was a part of the explosion at that time and participated in artist generated activities, including Collaborative Projects, Group Material, and Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. In the mid 1980s, I turned my attention to global ecological problems, for example, agribusiness and water contamination.
A lot of my artwork are inspired by animal behavior, such as The Rat Patrol, The Deer Museum, The Dog Show, and “Animals!”. Ever since I moved to the city, I was an impressed rats observer. I loved to think about their behavior, population movement, and social pattern. We all know about the garbage strike of 1979 that happened not long ago. There were piles of garbage accumulating, making certain areas infested, where rats considered as their territories. I started to paste lifesize rat images to mark areas that were infested, not to defend the rats, but to point out that we have created habitat for them and they would occupy it. It is just a way that the city ecosystem works. It is a result of its delicate balance.
When I have interviews, I always call myself an eco-artist, because urban ecology is also a big part and an inspiration of my work. I have work related to ecology such as H2O and Mountain River. I connect and speak to the current world with my work. In terms of materials, I have always worked with organic ones, and will continue to do so, but the most important thing for me during this whole process is to create things that are educational and inspirational. I always question myself about if my pieces teach people something. It is important for me to have my work being meaningful.
2018 will be another year for me to keep caring about issues happening in the current world, especially ecological and animal related issues as always. I am excited to explore more possibilities from my past work, such as The Aggressive Geese, and The Rat Patrol, and create brand new ones. Some galleries and museums in New York are discussing and planning a few exhibitions with me in later this year, so stay tuned.
“Bio.” Christy Rupp. Accessed January 28, 2018. http://christyrupp.com/bio/.
“Christy Rupp.” Wikipedia. January 23, 2018. Accessed January 29, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christy_Rupp.
Morgan, Tiernan. “Christy Rupp on Rats, Geese, and the Ecology of Public Art.” Hyperallergic. April 18, 2016. Accessed January 29, 2018. https://hyperallergic.com/179810/
Pearson, Erica. “Artist turns chicken bones into pseudo-skeletons of extinct birds.” NY Daily News. May 11, 2010. Accessed January 28, 2018. http://www.nydailynews.com/