At once playful and unsettling, Ralph Pugay’s colorful, narrative paintings juxtapose cultural norms and ideas that collide unexpectedly. “A lot of them are of situations where there's perversity or something catastrophic happening, but I see them as allegories for general questions about consciousness and life,” Pugay says of his work.
Ralph Pugay (b. 1983 in Cavite, Philippines) holds an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University and is a residency graduate of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Notable solo exhibitions were held at the Seattle Art Museum, Upfor, Vox Populi and FAB Gallery (Richmond, VA), among others. Group exhibitions featuring Pugay’s work include the Portland2014 Biennial, produced by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center; and the 2012 CoCA exhibition in Seattle. Formerly a visiting faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, he was recently appointed the James DePriest Visiting Professor of Art at Portland State University and is an instructor at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School. Pugay’s honors include a Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum, an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award.
Ralph Pugay was awarded a Ford Family Foundation Rauschenberg Fellowship to attend a residency at Captiva Island in 2018. The Joan Mitchell Foundation recently awarded Pugay a 2018 Artist-in-Residence spot at the organization's center in New Orleans.