Ruth Freeman





My Time In Wassaic


Please write a paragraph (or a few!) about your time here in Wassaic. You should say a bit about yourself, where you came from, how you got here, what media you like to work in typically, and what you chose to work on while you were here in Wassaic. Then talk about what Wassaic means to you, how it influenced your work, and what you might want others to know about Wassaic. Write from the heart and write in natural language. We want people to get to know you through this work. Be sure to embed hyperlinked words within these body paragraphs, so that we can link out to your portfolio site, exhibitions, movements, etc. Have fun with this!




By Drew Broderick, June 2018

Where do you call home?

Brooklyn, NY.

What is one good thing that has happened in the past 24 hours?

I saw three amazingly designed homes of strangers.

Why do you make art? Have your reasons changed over time?

It's the only thing I can focus on doing and feel good about producing. If I feel insecure at anytime I instantly lose it when I start working.

What is a song that you never tire of listening to?

Tom Waits, "What's he building in there?"

What have you been reading lately? Thoughts?

Gerhardt Richter writings regularly, lots of contracts for selling a house as well as books from my parents library (Ernest Hemingway and Willa Cather). My siblings and I are currently selling our parents home which was my childhood home.

What drew you into the contemporary art world?

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma but I had relatives that lived behind us in a modern house. (he was an architect that studied at Taliesin). They had contemporary art and books on contemporary art that I read for hours.

How would you describe your work/practice to a total stranger? To a friend’s 5 year old child? To a grandparent?

I create paintings that depict awkward digital environments. More specifically, they represent the process of building something drawn digitally and the absurdity of our expectations.

What are your studio essentials? What is something unexpected a visitor might encounter?

Airbrush, books, coffee. I have a collection of found notes from my walks around Brooklyn.

Influences: we all have them regardless of whether or not we acknowledge them. Who or what currently inspires your work?

I am in awe of painters like Sigmar Polke, Albert Oehlen, Gerhard Richter. I find find lots of inspiration in music ranging from Devendra Banhart to jazz singers like Jimmy Rushing and Jimmy Scott. And Tom Waits.

What were your intentions for this residency and how have they changed since being at the Wassaic Project?

I'm hoping to take my paintings and explore how to build them three dimensionally. I am inspired by the structure of the wall in the barn and how they relate to my digital layering process.

What role does community play in your work, and how has community shaped your experience of this residency in particular?

I've recently started thinking about how we socialize and communicate through an interface. I know a few of the residents via Instagram so now it will be interesting to compare our in-person communications.

How has place influenced your time at the Wassaic Project, and where is your favorite “spot” in Wassaic?

So far my favorite spot is the old auction ring in Luther barn. I've been sitting in there listening to the ambient sounds.

What will you take away from this experience, and what will you leave?

New friends, mosquito bites. I will leave my bug spray.


If I feel insecure at anytime I instantly lose it when I start working.
— Ruth Freeman

Photos by Walker Esner