Ruff Times Lately

© Courtesy of Ryan Travis Christian and cadet capela
© Credits photo: Thomas Marroni

Ryan Travis Christian

December 10, 2022 — January 14, 2023

13 rue Béranger, 75003 Paris

cadet capela is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in France of the American artist Ryan Travis Christian. Known for his graphite pencil drawings, the artist has recently taken on a new challenge: painting. Alongside his characteristic drawings, in the style of the golden age of American animation, new oil paintings welcome his emblematic characters. In the presented works, an important place is occupied by the dog, also known as The Mayor, one of the first anthropomorphic figures that RTC incorporated into his drawings.

Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, the artist blends its quiet life with the underground world and raves. Fascinated by the unconventional style of the Chicago Imagists, he blends his local influences with the aesthetic of Ub Iwerks, the creator of Mickey Mouse. According to RTC, this style of drawing creates a hazy, joyful and psychedelic atmosphere that is easily accessible. Contrasts in subjects and colors play an important role in his creation and serve to provoke contradictory emotions in the viewer.

The integration of grotesque themes in the skin of childish characters is the artist’s signature. In his creations, he lets the intrusive ideas that come to his mind develop. Whether it is something funny, erotic or violent, he traces them with a pencil or a brush. Dogs, birds or cats are universal and easily recognizable figures for everyone; they are characters that illustrate the different facets of the artist, but also the archetypes of human beings.

Used to working with a monochrome palette, RTC steps out of its comfort zone and, in this new series of paintings, experiments with slightly muted colors. The characters are revealed in the rubber hose animation style characterized by soft, unjointed limbs. These naïve and eccentric forms are decorated with the puns present within the composition or in the titles. The world imagined by Ryan Travis Christian is defined with humor and irony and it is from this perspective that we are invited to view his work.