Skip to main content

Paul Rutz


Paul Rutz

Moving bodies are my subject, even if I’m painting a still life. I love to study athletes and other kinds of dancers (everyone is a dancer) twisting their muscles around their bones. While I do that, I’m thinking about you, the viewer. You’re moving. 

In my recent work, the combination of shiny oil paint and gold leaf on undulating 3-D surfaces hopefully leads you to dance a little, stepping close to see the brushwork, back again to enjoy the illusion, then to the side to see what’s hidden in a fold of plywood or the glint of gold leaf against the wall. 

My route to painting like this has been full of tight turns and continuing education. In early adulthood I danced ballet wherever I could, including daily barre at sea on an aircraft carrier. With a dissertation on combat art from the Iraq war, I received my Ph.D. in visual culture from Purdue University in 2011. More recently I’ve studied plein-air painting in Virginia and etching in Italy.

Oil | Wood
Community: NE Portland
Studio Number: 39
Instagram: paulxrutz
Twitter: paulxrutz