Ryan Travis Christian’s idiosyncratic style of drawing densely layers graphite pencil to create graphic images featuring amorphous characters including condoms, brick houses, and Mickey Mouse. Inspired by Ub Iwerks, George Condo and the Hairy Who, he renders his figures in both high contrast and slow motion, inserting them into hazy sfumato-esque landscapes and skewed spaces alike that repeatedly melt and coalesce. Christian’s surreal personal narratives are fueled by the absurdity of life in his small, suburban-Chicago hometown with recurring themes of fires, wheelchairs, heavy petting, fireworks, drugs and alcohol, rivers, boats, beaten-up cars, death, homes, speed bumps, and cats.
Ryan Travis Christian’s solo shows include the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC; Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, Halsey McKay in East Hampton, NY and Cooper Cole in Toronto, and has been included in group shows in London, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Dallas and Los Angeles His work has been written about in frieze, art ltd, Art Papers, New American Paintings, Daily Serving, Indy Week and the Associated Press. New City named Christian as one of Chicago’s “Breakout Artists” for 2010 and named by the same publication as one of Chicago’s “Top 50 Artists’ Artists” in 2012. DAZED recently named Christian as one of the “top ten artists working with monochrome.” He is represented by Western Exhibitions in Chicago and lives and works in the Chicagoland area.