Ever since he could remember, Ruben picked things up; a broken motorcycle mirror in the alley, a rusted pipe from the back yard, a little red wagon left behind. Abandoned objects that possessed an unknown past, discarded present, and no relevant future. Working with what’s been identified as trash to some has become Ruben’s life passion.
Growing up in South El Monte, too close to gang activity, too familiar with drug and alcohol abuse, with too many events of separation and despair, placed Ruben in an environment full of dysfunction and discard. Ruben searched for what he could salvage from within – looking at his own experience, his own existence, his own strength, and he found passion. Ruben embodies that passion and became an artist. Today Ruben Acosta’s art work has been showcased in various Los Angeles fine art galleries, including LAAA/Gallery 825, and highlighted in Arts & Understanding National AIDS Magazine.
Over the last 20 years Acosta has dedicated his life to prevention the spread of HIV, where he has seen firsthand the damages that can accrue when a person’s life is discarded as a result of an AIDS diagnosis. Homophobia, stigma and overall apathy towards people living with HIV is a motivating factor towards Ruben’s work and art. Ruben seeks inspiration through mixing the tangible discards of a community with his ability to “build art” through a process called salvageable concepts.