Harmonies, resonance, dissonance, pattern. These are the guiding principles in Rusty Scruby’s art and life. Mesmerized in his youth by numerical oddities such as pi and counting the number of steps to school and between classes, Scruby, as an adult, continues to strive for a deeper understanding of the universe through both unseen and ubiquitous mathematical relationships. This love of numbers is a way to distill what is around him. He says, “I was obsessed with taking the physical world and mapping it out in my head.” [i] Scruby transcribes his inner world, brimming with numerical relationships, into two- and three-dimensional pieces that have a lyrical presence. He translates the simple patterns of everyday life into complex and immersive mixed media constructions filled with both meaning and beauty. In essence, Scruby is a magician, conjuring up a new way to see the world.
Scruby mines his past to explore the present and several significant experiences shape his art. At the age of two he moved with his parents from Oregon to Kwajalein. This island, part of a coral atoll in the Marshall Islands, rests in the Pacific Ocean, north of the Equator and west of the International Date Line. Although a small island, Kwajalein has, since 1944, been a key site for the United States military. Scruby’s father, a civilian science and math teacher, brought his family to the base where military personnel engaged in procedures and target practice for shooting down missiles. At such a young age, Scruby had no awareness of these various activities, instead leading a simple life with his family and developing his love of nature by spending time playing in the water and on the beach while trying to make sense of the universe.
Written by: Jennifer Jankauskas, February 6, 2010