Gabriela Ruiz, also known as Leather Papi, is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and model based in Los Angeles. In her latest piece, Cruz Azul, Ruiz explores kinships disrupted by traumatic experiences affected by religion and migration. Ruiz works through monochromes, sound, and live performance installations to create a rich visceral and psychic environment.
Leather Papi was recently part of Rafa Esparza’s a la Calle performance at Santee Alley in Downtown Los Angeles. Models/performers covered in blue body paint, festooned with horns, and embellished with accessories wore her elaborate one-of-a-kind garments. As part of the event, a roving performance atop a matching blue mobile platform was intended to roll down Santee Alley to create a scene with echoes of religious iconography to royal excess. The platform was not allowed to travel down the callejones (alleys) and hence ICA LA will present this performance with newly envisioned material and invited guests Andrew Eastman, Derek Holguin and, her niece, Hazel Felix along with original cast members from the Santee Alley a la Calle procession. The performance will take in the museum’s programs space on the final day of de la Calle, Esparza’s Project Room exhibition.