Andrea Ruggeri is a Miami born artist, raised in London England and educated in Europe. Her art teacher first recognized her extraordinary draughtsmanship abilities at the age of 12 at which time she was enrolled in part time drawing classes at Camberwell School of Art, London. By the age of 16 she entered into an exclusively humanities and fine art education at Fin Art Tutors, London where she spent two years on study trips to art institutions in Paris, Rome, Florence, Athens and Delphi. It was here that she won acclaim from The Oxford University Board of Examiners for her A level painting submission which was exhibited by them as a model example of ‘A’ grade work. She completed her Foundation in Fine Art at Middlesex Polytechnic, London, received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London and post graduate studies in Fine Art Video at The University of East London.
Andrea founded a studio in the East End of London. For the years following her graduation she worked on solo projects as well as in collaboration on painting installations and video installations including ‘House no Garden Project’ reviewed by Art Monthly Magazine and in the ‘Whitechapel Gallery Run’ and participated in ‘Hayvend’ installed at the London based ‘ Institute of Contemporary Art’. Her ‘Marriage is a Sacred Thing’ piece was nationally exhibited as billboard art by ‘The Women’s Art Foundation’ in the exhibition ‘ShowGirls’. During this time she started receiving commissions for custom mural artwork in prestigious residences in London’s Chelsea Harbor, New York and Miami.
In 1998 Andrea moved to Costa Rica where her painted canvases were sold in local galleries and she completed several mural commissions in private residences and hospitality venues. Her work was published by La Revue and Scuba Diver magazines. She also taught private and group painting and drawing classes.
In 2001 she moved back to Miami and has focused attention on a very successful Mural business. She has completed commissions in Coconut Grove’s Cloisters on the Bay, Grovernor House and Mutiny Hotel as well as residences in Cocoplum, Tahiti Beach, Gables By the Sea, Journey’s End, Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Boca Raton and Key West. She works with many of Miami’s prominent interior designers as well as residents. Her client list includes Sylvester Stallone, Sting and Sydney Sheldon. In Miami her work has been featured in Florida Design Magazine, Inside out, Ocean Drive, Daily Candy, Miami Herald Career Monthly, Miami Herald Home and Design, Deco Drive and she appeared as a guest artist on a NBC 6’s Home makeover show. Andrea makes annual charitable contributions in support of local cultural institutions, child mentoring facilities, educational institutions and children’s bereavement services.
Andrea spends her summers with her husband’s family in the mountains of North Italy where she is in the process of painting murals in the newly renovated 18th century chapel in Gordona, for which she has been inscribed by The Associazione delle Belle Arti, Italy. She is currently working on mural and canvas commissions in Miami and upcoming projects in Barbados.
I would have to say that there are two or three different threads consistently running through my work, While different pieces may assume completely different appearances, they are usually centered around the same issues.
I come from a family of international entrepreneurs including ship builders, jewelry makers and commercial artists who were based in and employed by clients in China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, South America and The Caribbean. I was born in Miami, raised in London and have always travelled. I have constantly moved and have experienced so many diverse cultures and definitions of reality … and I suppose it is from this that I have developed a fascination with exploring diversity.
Each country has a set of definitions of their surroundings and individual belief systems which I focus on decoding and then translating into a visual image. From there I project that image back into the space, directly on the wall. On mural commissions I may combine several different mediums in order to achieve different effects and use my body as much as a tool as I use my brushes as tools while painting. In my personal work I frequently use cameras, sound and video or projections and focus on the act of the work, the ritual, the transition, the breath or the ‘dance’ that working on such a large scale, usually in high places, demands.
I prefer a canvas that I don’t take with me, such as a ceiling, billboard or animal (I once painted my dog blue and photographed him running through the fields. The piece was called ‘Marriage is a Sacred Thing’ and was exhibited on billboards by the Women’s Art Foundation). Like a Mandala made of sand that is tipped into the water, I like to walk away from the work when it is completed, leaving it to the space or definition to which it now belongs.