Octavia Art Gallery, in collaboration with Ruiz-Healy Art, is pleased to present Prematurely Discarded, an exhibition featuring a selection of works by photographer Chuck Ramirez (1962- 2010). It will open with a reception on Thursday, January 22nd from 5 to 8pm and will run until February 25th. The exhibition, which will feature photographs from the last decade of the artist’s life, is made possible through a partnership with Ruiz-Healy Art of San Antonio, the exclusive representative of the Estate of Chuck Ramirez.
“When I am empty please dispose of me properly,” the words emblazoned across the front of a plastic cup in Chuck Ramirez’s Whatacup, evoke the preoccupation with discardment, which is persistent in the artist’s work. Chuck Ramirez often produced images of everyday objects, photographing his subjects out of context, isolated against a stark white background, thereby enticing the viewer to reexamine them. For Ramirez, photographing rubbish wasn’t just about finding beauty in the mundane; it was also about exploring the fragility and temporality of life. Mortality emerged as a key theme in Ramirez’s work, and many of the quotidian subjects were expressions of his reorientated view of life that grew out living with both HIV and a dire heart condition. This exhibition explores the refuse that so often was the focal point of Ramirez’s photographs. By dignifying discarded objects, Ramirez illuminated subconscious concerns with ephemerality, mortality and his concern with being prematurely discarded.