Artist of the Week

Ryan Travis Christian

May 7, 2012

Originally from Oakland, Ryan Travis Christian lives and works in the Chicago area.  He received his BFA from Northern Illinois University.  Ryan is an artist, curator and writer.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.  Born in 83’, I am a 6ft. tall caucasian male living in the suburbs of Chicago, Taurus. I draw a lot, interview fellow artists, curate exhibits, DJ for Club Nutz, and have recently started organizing comedy/noise shows.
If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? 1930’s cartoons meets 80’s pop design meets suburban white dumb dumb narratives.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? My work, or a boner.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?  I have a show with dear friend and collaborator Marissa Textor that just opened in Toronto at Cooper Cole gallery. Beyond that, oh hell, group shows here and abroad, a solo in the Hampton’s at Halsey McKay, then SF at Guerrero Gallery, then CAM Raleigh, then London… Just released a shirt through African Apparel. Working on collaborations with lots of different people which is really interesting/exciting. I’m organizing a massive 100 artists + traveling show with lots of other projects sprinkled in to the mix over the next year and a half. Busy busy.
What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you?  Was really into Scott Wolniak’s recent show at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, got to see those pieces come a loooong way in the studio, highly satisfying. Handler at Western Exhibitions was fun too, thanks John Riepenhoff.  Ben Jones’s New Dark Ages @ Dietch is the best show I have ever seen ever.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work?  Best: this 8 year old kid had his mind completely blown by my last SF endeavor. He gave me a tour of my own show and mostly described things with explosion sounds and wild hand gestures. He was super pumped, which made me super pumped. Worst: here and there people think it’s racist.
What artists are you interested in right now? Tim Bergstrom, Sarah Weber, Eric Yahnker, Marissa Textor, Ben Jones, Allison Schulnik, Bjorn Copeland, Ub Iwerks, Eric Beltz, Denise Kupferschmidt, Chris Duncan, Evan Gruzis, Eddie Martinez, Jose Lerma, Conlon Nancarrow, Scott and Tyson Reeder, Forrest Bess, Doug Lussenhop, Sam Moyer, Andrew Schoultz, Ryan Wallace, Adam Scott, Erwin Wurm, Todd James, Scott Wolniak, Elijah Burgher, Max Fleischer, DeKooning, Larry Bob Phillips, the list could go on forever.
What do you do when you’re not working on art?  Sleep, give our cat a hard time, golf. I like websites.
What are you really excited about right now?  Reggie Watts, The Eric Andre Show, Club Nutz, Prometheus, Duncan Trussel Family Hour, MLB, the prospects of summer, Solo @ CAM Raleigh, new Black Dice Album, traveling, Marcie Oakes.
What were you like in high school?  I hung out in the woods a lot and got straight A’s.