Painting

Ryan Travis Christian "This Shit is for the Birdies"

Feb 25, 2017 - Apr 08, 2017Western Exhibitions, Chicago

Ryan Travis Christian takes his surreal sense of humor to Western Exhibitions in Chicago starting from February 25 to April 8, 2017. We have the first look today...

In his third solo show at Western Exhibitions, “This Shit Is For The Birdies,” Christian’s idiosyncratic vision has expanded to include commentary on current crises in the nation and world at large. Tackling hot political issues such as immigration, depression and the American dream, Christian’s historical precedents become a mirror reflecting many common concerns of the present, warts and all.

Musing on the technological and material obsolescence of his inspiration, Christian’s recent work doubles down on the paradoxical relationship between childish cartoons and ominous messages. Using dense layers of graphite pencil to create graphic images of condoms, brick houses, and Mickey Mouse, his high contrast figures are rendered in slow motion and set against hazy sfumato-esque landscapes and inside of melting, skewed spaces. A series of small daily drawings touch upon a vast array of topics, such as the economy, violence, the environment, gender, class, hope, doubt, and the afterlife; a large floor sculpture takes the form of a drinking bird toy, that perpetual motion gag gift that mimics a bird bobbing for a drink; and for the first time, monochromatic patterned paintings feature vibrating optics, quivering silhouettes and cream cheese smears of titanium white oil paint.