venerdì 28 giugno 2013

Interview with Ryan Greenly

q) Walk us through an intimate day in your life

a) I’m much more of a night owl.  My evenings and nights are usually spent collecting.  I find myself collecting vintage books, scraps of paper, wood scraps, plants, flowers, etc. to create art.

q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?

a)I grew up in a small agrarian town of 4,000 people in the hills of Pennsylvania.  I grew up with my hands in the dirt and reading William Blake and Ginsberg.  For one year I hitchhiked solo across the USA squatting, Dharma bumbing, committing Anarchy.  At the age of 21 I moved to Hawaii for 10 years, where I was surrounded by amazing natural beauty, not to mention the best surf.  Currently, I’ve been living in Taipei, Taiwan for 2 years.   I have a deep respect for Taiwanese culture and history. 

My hometown really influenced me in my regards to the imagery I use in my work.  Images of homeless friends, authors, hermits, and farmers.   Hawaii’s influence is where I became impressed with bright, bold color usage in my art.  Taiwan has only pushed me further because of the huge support and opportunity for artists here. 

q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?

a)I think it began with my grandmother, my uncle, and my father.  My father built old air cooled Volkswagens and Porsches and would create these amazing paintings that were a cross between Pollock and 70/80’s Sci-fi fantasy paintings.   Artists like Peter Elson, Dan McPharlin, and Chris Foss.  My grandmother taught me to keep my heart low to the ground and keep my hands dirty, close to the soil and vegetables.  She truly showed me self-reliance and sustainability.  My uncle was a well-known local landscape artist.

q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

a)I’m a heavy researcher.  Authors, philosophers, and subversives fascinate me and it crosses over into my art making process.   It usually takes me a good hour to get into the “zone” for actual painting.   I rely heavily on a more instinctive or intuitive approach to design and layout.   I have a bit of an OCD with placement and literary connections.  Most of my collage material is actual photocopies from the reading that influences me the most in my general way of thinking.

When working on installations this could involve building actual structures and occupying them for long periods of time and creating a scene from found and made objects.  

With video and sound work I find I’m fascinated with the use of the loop and the act of reappropriating images and stories based around wildlife created in Hollywood.   It relies heavily on the contradictions and hypocrisies found in mainstream film.

The manifesto work is more done under the influence of literature; which delves in the areas of autonomy and the function of art, with a sort of tongue and cheek approach.

q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?

a)I suppose; first, as aesthetically approachable and secondly, function as informational.

q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?

a)I’m at war with the disconnection of ego in painting and the overall function of art in society and it’s role or duty to the rest of society.  I’m fascinated by this sort of isolated, yet shamanistic ritual that every artist embarks upon; in his or her attempt to find something spiritual and unexplainable and then sharing or influencing society with the results.  There are two possible ways this exploration can be interpreted:  First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with oneself.  Second, the return from isolation to share this knowledge with others.  Artists make the complete journey, both the withdrawal and the return.  The artist begs the question, “What is the most difficult of all things?” and simply answers, “To truly know yourself.”

q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?

a)I’m at odds with art functioning as a commodity, limitations of size or material always seems to influence island art.  I tend to fall in the category of smaller artworks just because I have lived on islands for most of my adult life.  Things like shipping costs and storage become a factor.  But at the same time I loathe being held down by objects or “things” so this as well could result in smaller objects.  I also find a stronger intimacy with smaller paintings.

q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?

a)Yes absolutely art is essential to survival.  Art must act as a tool for social change and enlightenment.   Art speaks of self-reliance and assurity.  Art has a greater purpose than merely to reflect reality and depict existing things.  The greatest theories that reflect on utopian societies were in themselves created in isolation, art to holds the same function.  It provides a deeper picture of what is possible.

To quote Thoreau in regards to Walden, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

q) Describe a world without art.

a)It would have to be a world without creation or imagination.  A world without true hope.

q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.

a)I loathe American domestic and foreign policy.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the Internet?

a)At my website