Exclusive: Mike Ruiz "Transforms" Manhattan

By: Michael Matson

Photographer Mike Ruiz, star of the upcoming reality program The A-List: New York, will be celebrating the opening of his latest solo exhibit, "Transformations," at the Leslie/Lohman Gallery in Manhattan this Wednesday night. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibit's sales go to the non-profit Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, which provides an outlet for "unambiguously gay" artwork that is often denied access to mainstream venues.

Mike spoke with us about the upcoming exhibit and shared some of the images that will be featured, including his self-portrait with Sheriff the dog (left).

Photos: Mike Ruiz

Can you talk a bit about the process of selecting images to fit the theme of the show? 

Robert Richards (curator of this show) and I wanted a cross section of images that best represented the "transformation" process, which is the process of assigning people visual alter egos that I feel are brewing beneath the surface.

Kathy-Griffin Will all of the photographs in the exhibit be available for purchase, or were some lent from other collections?

They are all available for purchase.

You've been involved in raising money for multiple LGBT causes over the years. Is there one that is currently nearest and dearest to your heart?

I'm a big supporter of The Trevor Project. What they do for LGBTQ youth really resonates with me. Growing up, I wish I would have had a Trevor Project to help me through tough times. As a result of being so grateful for making it out of puberty in one piece, I feel that it's my responsibility to do what I can to make that process easier for youth coming of age these days.

Transformations: The Photography of Mike Ruiz opens Thursday, August 25 and runs through Saturday, August 28th at the Leslie/Lohman Gallery in Manhattan. The opening gala takes place from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Wednesday, August 25th.