Indepth Arts News: |
"Ryan Villiers: Rotten Apple Eden"
2006-09-14 until 2006-11-04
LAAA South, The Mike Napoliello Gallery
Hermosa Beach, CA,
USA United States of America
To say that the art of Ryan Villiers richly juxtaposes folly with profundity is to have a true appreciation of his work. Described by Newsweek as, "innovating a new genre of deconstructed surrealism", Villiers' masterfully manipulates line and form to create a seemingly simple expression that bodes a larger, more complex message. Villiers‚ is of the generation that grew up in the electronic arcades of the 70‚s and 80‚s. Although his artwork portrays the same kid-friendly, flattened reality as the video games that filled his childhood dreamscape, Villiers‚ quirky cartoon-like figures in their seemingly playful milieu are actually latent with provocative symbolism and a challenging content.
Using declassified government documents as source material, as well as McDonald‚s as a metaphor for General Mao‚s demoralizing regime, Ryan‚s previous work portrayed his carefree cast of characters as unwitting pawns - their happy faces masking a darker, less savory reality. As the puppet master to these creative visions, Villiers rubbed their throats as they swallowed their bitter-happy pills.
In his latest body of work, Rotten Apple Eden, his vignettes are more somber and personal in nature. The theme is still one of duality, but the knowledge we are being asked to ingest is one of our own humanity. Rotten Apple Eden evokes nostalgia of an innocence lost, the apple bitten, and offers a stern warning: Be careful of the knowledge you seek as it can be used to both serve and poison. He describes his work‚s content as that which you want to shelter your children from, but insists on an eyes-wide-open policy. The work is not melancholy or maudlin, nor does it impose a moral tale; Villiers‚ art speaks to the universality of a child matured and seeks to reconcile the past with the present and create some notion of an acceptable future.
Villiers' art has been exhibited world-wide and he has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, including a scholarship to attend Otis/Parsons as a Communication Design major.
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