some artists rely on caffeine to keep their hands moving faster, so they can do more, break less, and churn out viral, often-shallow, yet ‘totally grammable’ works, at a quantifiably consistent pace. for ruby silvious, it’s the other way around; these anonymous little tea bags rely more on her than she does them; after providing her with their ritual flavor, ruby turns them into magic.

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she started a project called ‘363 days of tea,’ back in january 2015. it’s a coffee table book, on sale now. she has several series: the images of which speak for themselves. ruby recycled empty tea bags and recorded daily stories onto them. sometimes drawing, sometimes painting and collaging — her subject matter changes as often as her materials. on her instagram: an impressionist couple in love, a snowy tree branch, a rembrandt with macs and selfie sticks, pissy people on airplanes. 

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classic art muses are reimagined, binging netflix, and yet, just before internally tearing up with laughter, one scrolls down her instagram and is halted by another. a tattered tear of a tea bag, portraying a blurry building, feels cold and wet. it isn’t whimsical, or funny, or self aware like the others. the streets are old. the yellows make you wonder. it feels huge. the little white space, above the building, is brighter than anything you’ve ever seen. then, you remember you’re on instagram; this is a teabag. that velasquez is ordering take-out. take-out sounds good. 

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most recently, silvious stayed at LM studio in hyeres, france, as the location’s first resident artist: 26 days of tea in france. she did a similar project in japan, and she posts new work on instagram regularly — in one process photo, many excited tea bags lay anxiously next to each other, watching as she paints on one of them, surely thinking, ‘me next, me next!’ …for laughs, irony, whimsy and tea, follow her on instagram: @silvirub.

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  • I am not huge fan of tea bags (for my daily tea brewing) … but these are really gorgeous!

    OchaNokcha says:
  • this absolutely rocks, zach! many thanks

    Ruby Silvious says:

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