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Nomi Ruiz on PMc Mag

I recently interviewed singer/installation artist/Clocktower Gallery resident Nomi Ruiz for Patrick McMullan Magazine. The talented Jonathan Grassi photographed Ruiz in and around her grandmother’s home in Sunset Park before she jet off on a European tour with CocoRosie. Check out the rest of the interview here.

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Taking in the View with Borough Gypsy NOMI RUIZ

By Lori Zimmer

Summer 2013

I’m wandering around Times Square, killing time by counting how many guys ask me if I want tickets to a comedy show. Normally it’s an area I tend to avoid, but tonight Miss Nomi Ruiz is to play a private set at the Liberty Ballroom, which the Times Square Art Alliance has been so kind to invite me too. But just as I passed the third crusty Elmo-costumed person, an urgent email comes through: sudden venue change! For a second I panic–this type of thing could be the death of a tiny show. But as I pass into the new location (BB Kings), it’s as if nothing was amiss. It’s already standing room only of waiting Nomi fans, and when she hits the stage it’s as if the chaos of finding a last minute change had never happened.

The stage is set with a floral-heavy still life of seemingly personal effects from Ruiz, meshed with sporadic colorful lasers and sexy video portraits of the singer–a perfectly intimate tableau made harmonious with Ruiz’s sultry low croons, looking impossible in a long white dress with a leg slit past her navel.

Ruiz, who came up singing in Hercules and Love Affair and Jessica Six, may also be known as the poster girl for the transgendered community, but her talent far outweighs the label, and gives her total mass appeal. She’s just released her new album, Borough Gypsy, a super-personal sexy set inspired by her life growing up in Sunset Park.

The album coincides with a dreamy video portrait of Ruiz, which is as sensually decadent as Marilyn Minters’ candy colored Green Pink Caviar. For Borough Gypsy, Ruiz hasn’t just written jams for us to sway or dance to, but has taken her role as an artist very seriously–giving us a glimpse of her personal life, woven into every piece of the album. The support of her family is evident–her grandmother even invited us to use her Sunset Park apartment as the backdrop for our PMc Mag photoshoot.

Borough Gypsy feels more complete, a more nourishing experience than just a poppy dance album. Prior to the release of the album, Ruiz completed a residency at Clocktower Gallery, creating an installation that translated the album into a visual experience, coupled with previews of the tracks. Nomi Ruiz is an artist that transcends art, music, and sexuality–while still sticking to her roots as a (very breathtaking) Brooklyn girl.


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