I have no choice but to make it short and sweet here : Ryan McGinness is like no other artists I have looked at before. His show Ocular Evidence is a visual bomb!
What is it about? Hard to say actually and this is intentional, I believe.
Ryan McGinness jam-packs symbols and signs within street art fields of bright colors. As such, he recreates the information overload we are all subjected to every day.
The magic is that your focus may start to linger on one area, soon enough to become an entry point into Ryan McGinness’ graphic world. Just like that, his kaleidoscope colors make the cacophony of life much more appealing.
As I picked out through his dense typography, some signs emerged. I thought I had recognized some of them.
A bit of art history nod to Dali with the lobster phone here, a le Corbusier armchair, three silhouettes that look straight out of the opening of a James Bond movie there…Great, this must be how one decodes Ryan McGinness’ language.
For sure, his is a new language so I kept exploring. Look here: this metronome is Man Ray’s Object to Be Destroyed, right? Yet all these signs are always slightly modified, re-invented and created out of Ryan McGinness’ graphic design vocabulary.
Smoothed out and with hardly any artist touch visible, it is easy to wonder if these are graphic designs, printed rather than painted. Yet, they resonate , they signify, they ink themselves on our retina…
Ryan McGiness’ interlocking mandala wheels are vibrant, almost charming and harmless, until their titles hit you: Dark Energy or Black Holes, a series he started with his An(n)us Mirabilis back in 2006.
The Saatchi website describes it best as all of them being “virtual field(s) of information”, so tempting and hypnotic until they absorb us all…Sounds familiar? Yet maybe that’s what we all need in our lives: art so absorbing, our screens will pale in comparison.
Import Data is another a case in point, mixing both Dark Energy and layers of data.
Can you hear the wheels turning? So good…
And just when I might think “OK, that’s very good indeed”, Ryan McGinness revisits his “black hole” motifs on cyanotypes, delivering the final punch in an already excellent show. Give me a set of 4, 6 or 8 but I would take that entire wall, if I could!
Thank you Quint Gallery for another fantastic show: I am so grateful to have you around the corner here in San Diego, giving me access to all these fabulous artists.
Or you can catch his show Studio Views at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI until March 18, 2018.
If you go, please don’t forget to let me know what you thought of the exhibition (it helps me and the blog, ensuring I can keep bringing you more content to explore).
© 2017 Ingrid Westlake
All pictures by Ingrid Westlake, unless otherwise stated.
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