Born in Columbia, Monika Ruiz began her art education at the age of fourteen. Her foundational studies focused on traditional art history, particularly figure drawing and still life. Her paintings recall the bright colors and evocative brush strokes of Fauvist and Post-Impressionist paintings, as well as the expansive and dreamlike quality of early Surrealist paintings. In “Yin Yan,” two figures curl around the perimeter of camellia flower, becoming its outermost petals in a spiraling embrace. Other works, such as “Holding the Sun” forgoes the figure and disrupts conventional horizons with rainbow-colored leaves crowding the foreground. Whether explicitly narrative or abstract, Ruiz’s paintings evoke a sense of time’s passing and its affect on the natural world.