Puzzle Time's second release features the work of Ryan Travis Christian. Christian is based outside Chicago, IL, where he is represented by Western Exhibitions. He has shown his work at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC, Halsey McKay in East Hampton, NY, Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Cooper Cole in Toronto, and has curated shows at Greenpoint Terminal Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and Left Field in San Luis Obispo, CA. Read an interview with RTC below!
PT: For people who aren't familiar with your work, can you describe a little bit about your process? To what extent do you plan out an image like this and how does that planning evolve into the final piece?
RTC: Hmmm, my work looks sort of like old cartoons with a healthy dose of op-y pattern and some personal narrative to boot... It generally is comprised of graphite and paper, but I'm known to flirt with sculpture and paintings a little bit. I try not to plan too much outside of an initial, poorly thought out concept. It's much more fun for me to see what happens and adapt as I go along. I find planning too hard usually sets me up to fail, my imagination is greater than my capabilities. I'm picking up where the California Raisins left off!
How did you come up with the imagery in this piece "Frogmen"?
I drew that frogman crudely in sharpie on a small piece of paper while on vacation in Wisconsin. I usually nod off in a tent by the lake when I'm up there and fall asleep listening to bullfrogs croak late into the night. When I got back to the studio, I thought it would be fun to echo that character roughly.
What kind of themes make it into your work from the outside world?
Most things that I come in contact with... Buildings, cars, bikes, land, sea, people, sports, jokes, animals, food, ya know, being alive sort of stuff.
What do you think about while you're working - are you present and problem-solving in what you're doing, or does your mind wander? Or are you watching Jerry Springer?
A bit of both. Certain things demand concentration and planning for me. Like establishing a figure or structure or object.. When I'm filling in pattern or working with more abstract elements I am prone to wander. I usually have music or a movie playing in the background (see below) but there's also a nice babbling brook outside my window that can be easy on the ears.
What is your workspace like? Is your cat allowed in there?
I work in the garage, guest bedroom and dining room of our house. They are all relatively small spaces adorned with little graphite fingerprints everywhere. Cats, yes, the more the merrier. Our big fat cat Wheezy is by my side 100% of the time.
What are some go-to studio snacks?
Roasted kale chips, Diet Coke, cran-raspberry La Croix, chocolate caramel nut clusters, cigarettes...
What do you like to listen to while working, if anything? What has been your most consistently-listened to music over time and favorite as of late?
The Duncan Trussell Family Hour is a constant, Joseph Hart's new podcast Deep Color, stand up comedy, music of course... lots of Bubble Puppy, Drugdealer, King Crimson, and Busdriver as of late.
Do you have any collections?
I have a pretty healthy Pez dispenser collection from middle school. Otherwise, just art, lots of it. Waiting patiently to put one of YOURS on my wall!
Is there an alternate career/lifestyle that you fantasize about having, hypothetically or realistically?
Hypothetically, a professional tennis player or a major league pitcher. Realistically, no.
TV show that you watch or other media that you consume, secretly?
I found a website recently that you can watch every episode of Jeopardy ever, so mainly that. Adult Swim programs are real good. I watch as many movies as I possibly can.
Who is the last person you face-timed, accidentally and on purpose?
Ummm, let me look... it was my wife, intentionally.
How do you feel about puzzles? It seems that most people either love or hate the process of putting them together. Do you have strong feelings one way or another? Any associations with a specific place or time?
I love puzzles! I used to enjoy putting them together with my grandmother and mom. To be honest, I haven't tinkered with one in a long time, but I'm highly excited to try my hand at this one!
Six links to anything on the internet:
my favorite video ever
my other favorite video
Nate Bernot videos are always good
2WetCrew is always good too!
Solid Steel! a vast archive of intelligent and eclectic DJ mixes
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