by Stephen Garner

S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA. has debuted an installation featuring the brand’s “Unique” tier of pieces exclusively at Dover Street Market in Los Angeles. This is the first time the brand’s Unique pieces will be available in person, previously available only on srstudio.com.

In an effort to preserve a type of intimacy found in his art, the Unique looks are one-offs designed and realized by artist and creative director Sterling Ruby. Each piece includes a tag with a signature, date, and inventory number entered into the same database used for tracking Ruby’s artwork catalog.

Using a hanging technique reminiscent of Ruby’s mobile sculptures, a polished aluminum armature displays Unique garments next to tools cast in aluminum, creating a 3-D textile and sculptural collage. The installation is based on themes explored throughout Ruby’s work; an aluminum axe is suspended next to the book cover of Hannah Ardent’s On Violence, while a cast bleach bottle hangs beside fabric hand treated with such material. With pieces hanging flat like artworks, yet exposing neck holes which act as signifiers of the body, the method of display highlights the fluidity of Unique looks to exist both at once as art and clothing.

The most recently-created pieces see autobiographical references including Death Angel band t-shirts long favored by the artist, set against motifs from Ruby’s art universe like caves, candles, and werewolves, and covers of his favorite books: Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House, George Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism, Jack Kerouac’s Piers of the Homeless Night, and James Baldwin’s Dark Days, among others.

The Unique tier coexists amongst Ruby’s other three distinct collections: “S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA.,” “ED. 50,” and “Soto.”