Christy Rupp, Rubble Rat #1, concrete and brick, 1980
Approx. 7 x 8 in., Irregular shape.
The “rubble” base of this piece was made with debris collected from the backyard of ABC No Rio. The concrete rat was made using a cast of the Jumping Down rat.
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Christy Rupp’s Rubble Rats were created in 1980 for the first exhibition at the Lower East Side art space ABC No Rio. No Rio was a byproduct of the infamous “Real Estate Show,” the illegal exhibition that took place when artists broke into a city owned building on New Years Eve in 1979/80. At a time when much of the LES lay in ruin, the City in a conciliatory gesture offered the Real Estate Show artists the use of one of the area’s abandoned buildings as an art space. Rupp was one of the artists that helped clean up the dilapidated structure at 156 Rivington Street with its rat-infested, rubble-filled backyard. Her series of Rubble Rats incorporate the backyard debris and stands today as a particularly evocative and surprisingly elegant example of downtown New York art of this era.