Gabriela Ruiz is the buzz of the L.A. art world. Her secret? Fluorescent everything

illustration of Gabriela Ruiz.
Gabriela Ruiz
(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)
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Gabriela Ruiz aims to engage people in her world. Monochrome multimedia installations, sculptures exploring the surveillance of people of color at the laundromat, live performances where she’s dousing herself in Fabuloso over bubblegum pink bars of Zote. A color-drenched personal style, inspired by the video vixens of the early 2000s.

She’s the kind of artist whose work makes you go, “Yeah, she seems cool.”

Ruiz, a 30-year-old native of the San Fernando Valley, is a rising star in L.A.’s art scene. But her work speaks more to the everyday Angeleno — people like her stepdad, who runs a handyman business and often helps her build out her installations. Or Ruiz’s Jenni Rivera-loving sister, who may not be a regular at galleries but has a good eye for art.

“My goal is for people like my family, and people that don’t have a general understanding of art, to connect with the art,” Ruiz says. Her exhibition “Grounding, Prevent From Flying,” debuting at Paulina Lara’s new LaPau Gallery at 5 p.m. July 10, accomplishes just that.

Ruiz has performed and exhibited everywhere from Mexico to Belgium. But there’s always something special about showing her work at home in L.A., she says: “Having family and friends there, it’s just different. You know?”

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Don’t miss “Grounding, Prevent From Flying,” running through Aug. 14. RSVP for the opening by emailing info@lapaugallery.com.

fill in the blank

The mantra keeping me sane right now:

An illustration of pop singer Björk.

My go-to look that makes me feel like myself:

illustration of Gabriela  in orange, pink, green and yellow.
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The place I go to for inspiration:

An illustration with film clappers.

The thing giving me life:

live laugh love

The inside of my brain right now looks like:

An illustration of burning file cabinets.

Catch me outside all summer at this spot:

An illustration of barbecue grills.

Best low-key thrift spot in L.A. or the Valley:

quote: As for the best thrift stores I would say that any tbh if its your lucky day, ITS YOUR LUCKY DAY ;).
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The color I’m obsessed with right now:

An illustration with the words colored in green and yellow.

My playlist right now

Wake Up Brooklyn — Lenny Dee & DJ Cirillo

A selfie capturing my mood this month

A photograph of Gabriela Ruiz.

“Being at the park and being bright AF lol.”

The most perfect image in my camera roll

A photo of trees with yellowing leaves.

“Random wall we came across in a desolate area in New Mexico.”

A screenshot of the meme I can’t get out of my head

An illustration with Jerry the Mouse from "Tom &  Jerry."

“This was the only appropriate meme to post on The Times 😂 the other ones were too cray”

Know someone in L.A. who should vibe with us? Email julissa.james@latimes.com.