Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram


Home BLOGS Mini Interviews Mini Interview: Ryan Christian

Mini Interview: Ryan Christian

Written by Trippe   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 04:10
He's our Chicago correspondent. He's curating a show at our gallery. Let's see if the kid can draw.
We get a lot of great emails from a lot of talented people introducing us to their work. From time to time we'll be sharing their work here in our mini interviews segment... To be considered for a mini interview send a few jpegs to: mini(at)fecalface.com *Make sure the images are at least 600 pixels in width.

Age? Location? Website?

Still tender @ 25, I stay just a stones throw outside of Chicago, and this is my "website" for now, it might as well be analog because I don't think anyone looks at it anymore, http://www.studentfinearts.com/users/21, someone should make me a website.

Tell us a bit about your current work.

Muppets, funk bands, old photographs, things that have been faded by the sun, distortion, weed, the darkside, rappers, motion, old cartoons, outer space, pinecones, motion again, fistfights, danger, animals, being young and tight, frequencies, bloods and crips, dark chocolate, history, dueling, monsters, whiskey and big hands... and so forth, a standard range of influences from a white kid born in the US circa the early 80's.

Conceptually I am really over the place and I would like to hone in on that a bit more, but I am not to worried, I am having a lot of fun making stuff and finding things out here and there so I figure that will happen in time.... I'm pretty good now but by the time I am 30 or so I should be a stallion.

Walk us through the process of creating a new piece.

I am always kind of subconsciously keeping eye out for things; a photo, something someone says, an interaction between people, an object, a memory, group activities, music, or a good story. I'm not even sure of the criteria I use, but if I find something sticks in my mind like that, there is usually a drawing made afterward that tries to utilize whatever idea I have stumbled across, it's not always a winner either.

I mostly use Google for visual research; I like the idea of myself being restricted by the collective digital public's notion of a word or a phrase.

I never sketch and I make it a point to not envision my finished product until it is a finished product. I found that counterproductive. Sometimes my finished product IS a sketch, a lavish one though.

After that it is pretty straightforward, I get my paper cut and my pencil battalion sharpened up and try to work it out on my own. My studio is in my parent's garage, so I get interrupted a lot. I smoke too much while I draw and I watch these two birds chase a chipmunk a lot.

Tell us about the above piece... what medium is that?

That's my good old mechanical pencil. It's a sad little blood red thing, with some really crusty tape on it.

That one kind of happened out of nowhere. I was drawing them so delicately and kind of fading everything out, gently tickling my paper with the tip of the graphite. I also (accidentally) found a way to bring out that subtle inlaid grid matrix within the paper which I think has a really nice effect combined with the really light drawing technique. I am going to mess with that a lot more.

Who are they?

Shit, I don't even remember. Is that bad? Some funk band from the seventies. What's important is that they dressed super silly in white leather, and such, with gold chains and big boots and their chests all out there, and then they would go down to the beach and hang out, and they were super fucking cool about it.

That stuff is so far removed from my own actual experiences, in everyway possible; it makes it really potent to me visually. Like, these dudes telling jokes to each other in Miami back in '81, all rich and fancy free, is just another of the infinite realities that I will never experience. This is a somewhat of an idea behind some of my work as of late. I know a guy who seriously fantasizes all the time about being Indian Jones, like if he had to choose between being that or himself, he would gladly jump ship.

I found that image by googling "afro" and then again in an issue of Waxpoetics and then I felt the need to do something with it/to it... Why did I kind of wish I was those guys when I was 10?


WU TANG CLAN! Also a lot of ridiculous booty electro stuff, Lightning Bolt, Fleet Foxes, the Hood Internet, No Age, all things Ninjatune, early Apocalypse Hoboken, Ween, Clouddead, Smog, Neil Young, OCDJ, Chic, and it goes forever, I have a very healthy selection of music in the Itunes.

Day job?

Oh dear, I don't really have one of those right now. I pretty much draw, write emails, ride my bike, go swimming, cut the grass, and go to Cubs games as my day job. I spend a lot of time lying around in my studio and sighing. It's a hard life to lead. I'm broke as fuck.

I work for Western Exhibitions a few times a month and sometimes I help other artists do annoying projects that they don't want to do themselves. I need a real job; I so do not want to pay quarterly taxes. Plus! I am going back to school next fall and my lady friend and I are opening up a gallery space in Chicago between now and then.

You contribute a lot to Fecal Face... Who are some artists you'd love to interview?

Sterling Ruby, Tony Tasset, Maurizio Catalan, George Condo, Paul Noble (8 years on one drawing?? sheesh) Peter Doig, the guy who invented fireworks, Pierre Huyghe, Claire Sherman, Robyn O'Neil, Cory Arcangel, TL Solien, Lamar Peterson, I should try to interview those people. I have some hot ones in the works.

Tell us some upcoming projects you have coming up... and about the show you're curating @FFDG!

I am working larger now (in the 5x5 ft range), I have some in progress that I am excited about, so once I finish those I suppose I'll try to find somewhere to show them later on... I am kind of laying off of exhibiting for the moment, in hopes I can make a body of work that'll turn your knuckle black. I am doing the whole sports training montage thing right now, only in the studio. Maybe I'll try to sleep with a lot of industry people.... Besides that I am helping Chicago sculpture pimp Ben Stone put a big, pink, stoned-looking octopus, trying to make love to a bagpipe, on top of a building in the hood. (Grand and Pulaski)

I'm also working on a full color zine called the Lonesome Dandy Quarterly, it most certainly isn't quarterly though and at this rate it will be done by the next time Gilbert and George have a retrospective in Milwaukee or when the Triassic era rolls around for the second time, whichever comes first... Also, this month a nice article comes out in The Comics Journal #291 about the work of Neil Whitacre and myself.

And the FFDG show! Ahhh yes, my first serious curatorial endeavor, which will feature paintings, drawings, video, and sculpture by these fine folks, Scott Anderson, Alexander Kvares, Eric Lebofsky, Frank Magnotta, Josh Mannis, Amy Mayfield, Erin Morrison, Mike Rea, Casey Jex Smith, Geoffrey Todd Smith, and Neil Whitacre. It's called West! Wester!Westest! And will be opening on October 3rd. You should go, we'll get crunk.

Your famous last words?

Hmmm, considering that my last words will probably be spoken on a hospital bed from my emaciated self on a bunch of pharmaceutical drugs, it will probably be random, nonsensical and anti-sentimental. It will probably be something like "pretzel town", a big final letdown, ill go out with a real pfffffff, like powder, not the movie guy powder, but powder powder. My poor wife. {moscomment}

John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.

FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.

Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.

Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.

NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.

Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding

"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle

Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.

Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.

Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.

The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.

The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.

Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.

John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.

High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels

"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.

Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.

Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.

"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".

"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.

Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.

Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.

John French with Hasselblad by Lola Dupre

"John French with Hasselblad", photo collage/ hand cut paper on wooden panel, by Lola Dupre which will be part of tomorrow's opening of "Salt the Skies" at FFDG in San Francisco. 2277 Mission St. (6-9pm) - RSVP here.

"Salt the Skies" at FFDG Opening Fri, Mar 21st

FFDG's spring show "Salt the Skies" is set to open on Friday, March 21st (6-9pm) -- Featuring works by Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold, Mario Ayala, Jud Bergeron, Curiot (Favio Martinez), Christopher Burch, Lola Dupre, Michelle Fleck, Matt Gonzalez, Hiro Kurata, Marty Machado, Mark Mulroney, and Nicomi Nix Turner

Brian Barneclo's 225' Food Chain Mural

San Francisco based Brian Barneclo was commissioned in 2006 to paint a HUGE mural on the side of Foods Co on Shotwell at 14th Streets. After some time on its own, it got pretty taxed by misc graffiti and pigeon shit.