October 21, 2011

Ryan Travis Christian "The River Rats" at Western Exhibitions


Ryan Travis Christian
The River Rats

In Gallery 1

Opening Friday, October 21 to December 3, 2011
Opening reception, Friday, Oct. 21, 5 to 8pm

Conceived in the spirit of George Condo, Ub Iwerks, The Hairy Who, construction-site warning signage, and a vast assortment of other visual elements, Ryan Travis Christian's new series of graphic graphite drawings, "The River Rats", are inspired by outwardly surreal personal narratives. The drawings are fueled by the absurdity of life in his small hometown and take the "River Rats" as endlessly fascinating subjects for both studies and stories. Recently waxing nostalgic for these ridiculous characters and instances, the pieces have been created in the last 5 months with recurring themes of, but not limited to; fires, wheelchairs, heavy petting, fireworks, drug and alcohol usage, rivers, boats, beat up cars, death, homes, speed bumps, and cats.


Over the past three years Christian has developed an idiosyncratic style of drawing: densely layered intensities of graphite pencil, graphic yet amorphous stylistic flourishes, in high contrast and slow motion, and executed in a cartoon y/ comic-esque style, but in an understated sort of way. Working in a stream- of-conscious fashion, Christian inserts his signature characters into hazy sfumato-esque landscapes and skewed spaces alike that repeatedly melt and coalesce.


In Gallery 2

RTC Collaborates with

Scott Anderson
Chris Duncan
Ted Gahl
Cody Hudson
Eddie Martinez
Dana Dart-Mclean
Rachel Niffenegger
Mathew Palladino
Geoffrey Todd Smith
Andrew Schoultz
Marissa Textor



States Ryan Travis Christian:

"These pieces have also been done in the past 5 months or so. They are exercises in experimentation, style fusion and problem solving - some are failures, some are glorious. They have been sent to and fro repeatedly in most cases, with the exception of the Chicago based artists on the list as we've gotten together and worked on them in person. The process of working on them is really great because it forces us to consider different ways to approach creating/resolving an image. Some of the artist are close friends, some I simply admire, all are up-and-coming artists that have established a great work ethic, unique visual style and are people who I'm proud to consider my peers in the contemporary art world."

FB Event

Western Exhibitions
119 N Peoria St, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607 USA
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