by Monika Blichar
I have long admired artists who push boundaries and when selecting artists to participate in our events, I always strive to reach artists who are different, fresh and new in their work. When I came across Ryan McGee’s work, I noticed something ‘je ne sais’ quoi about it. It’s dark but delightful. It’s strange and sublime. He examines life through a distorted lens. I loved it the moment I saw it and knew that we had to feature him in our Toronto event on November 17. I caught up with Ryan to ask him about his art. Enjoy!
1-When did you start making art?
I can’t pin point exactly when I started making art, for me it was something that just had to happen, I always had a need to express myself visually. When I was younger this took the form of drawing on walls and filling up sketchbooks with crude doodles. It wasn’t until my time in College that I started to really to think critically about what my art was, and what I wanted to put out into the world.
2-What inspires you to create?
I have always had a very strong interest in the weird, and this fuels me in everything I create. I pull from everything that strikes a cord with me on a personal level, and things that capture the underground culture I love. I often find myself collecting outdated horror and sci-fi comics, saving images of early surfer, and hot rod culture, and tuning in to a new band that connect with me. All of these elements get archived in somewhat of a nexus of inspiration for me to draw from.
I believe that art is extensive, and reaches just about everyone through various outlets. In my case I always wanted to create art but I never truly felt comfortable in the fine art culture, so I sought out sub art groups to get into. I think that’s the truly amazing thing about art is that there really is something out there for everyone to connect with. There will always be a steady flow of talented people who want to create, and express themselves. As long as art continues to have various outlets for these people to grow creatively then there will always be potential to change society by pushing new ideas, and concepts through their works.
4-Do you try to convey messages through your illustrations?
There is a certain charm I believe in lowbrow art, and this is something a try and capture in my pieces. I like to play with the imagination of the viewer through my strange, and sometimes-goofy pieces, I think this connects with the onlooker reminding them that art can fun. If my work has any type of message I would say it’s for people to take a step back, and not take themselves so seriously.
I would love to have really established myself at least within the Toronto art community in the coming years. My dream would be to sustain myself entirely on my art, and that is something that I am really working on accomplishing. I think it is important especially for artists to set goals set for themselves and their art, and to always be striving to grow creatively, and professionally.
6-What kinds of works will you have for sale at Art World Toronto? Will you be offering attendees any show specials?
I will have a variety of pieces available for sale at Art World Toronto from patches to stickers to prints. In terms of special offers I really value meeting, and networking with new people at these events. Chances are if you come and say hi you’ll end up with a discount on some pieces, or maybe some stickers for free.
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