New Work: Summer 2016

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Frank Ryan Studios
Frank Ryan Audience: Pitch Perfect 2

Audience Series

Currently in the studio, I am making progress on a new series of paintings of movie theater audiences. These paintings are based on snap shots taken during the screening of movies in various theater locations in Los Angeles. 

Frank Ryan Audience: TommorowlandMy flash photograph interrupts the possibility of a passive viewing experience and confronts the audience with their own objectivity, as the subject of another’s gaze. This disclosure of my presence as voyeur, and the simultaneous awareness of subjectivity in the object of my gaze ushers a dynamic of psychological complexity and reflective symmetry.

There is a long tradition of exploring the spatial relationship between the viewer and pictorial field. Leonardo da Vinci had a precise formula for determining this relationship; perspetiva, in latin, means optics. This critical role that the viewer plays in the visual structure of the image is the foundation for the philosophy of naturalism itself.

Frank Ryan Audience: TransformersThe blatant and abetting use of photography is meant to suggest the extensive, mutually determinate relationship between painting and optics, photography and film. These paintings are meant to be mass portraiture; capturing the diversity in each random sampling of the population and candidly documenting the behavior of everyday people.

This series is provocative in that it stems from confrontation. The problem of ownership of our personal experience, in a time of ubiquitous surveillance and self-obsessed social media, is one that realism is well adapted to explore in asking the question of the relationship of the viewer to pictorial space.
Frank Ryan Audience: Mad Max Fury Road 3D
Take a Closer Look at the Series
Frank Ryan Studios: Large Stretcher
Scaling Up: Conceptually, this series requires that the viewer relates to the painting on a 1:1 scale. I am looking forward to exploring this idea in monumental scale.

Historical Consideration of the Audience/Viewer

Da Vinci

Drawing from the Cast

Frank Ryan Cast Drawing

As a painter, I am constantly struggling with dilemma between the use of photographic source material and the necessity of working from observation.  As convenient as digital cameras can be, the reliance on photographic materials as the primary source for my paintings presents its own unique problems. I have returned to observational drawing as a way of focused study of the human figure using the cast.

Frank Ryan Hand Cast DrawingThe method of drawing I use in observational drawing is called Sight-Size mass drawing. Positioned next to the cast, is my drawing board at the same vertical angle, in the same light. In this case, the casts were viewed only from a distance of about 8 feet. It is from this distance, that the comparisons and decisions are made, advancing towards the drawing and making the mark from memory, to retire again for further comparison.

Copyright © 2016 Frank Ryan, All rights reserved.

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