Thursday, September 25, 2008

Transgressive Beauty: Ryan McGinness

Ryan McGinness, (new work), 2008

Laced with countless pop culture references, lyrical lines, and colorful graphics, Ryan McGinness’ work provides a running commentary on contemporary culture. A master at integrating graphic form with poetic content, the New York-based artist continues to transform gallery spaces and the art world alike. Much has been said about the artist’s ability to bridge the gap between graphic design and fine art; McGinness, however, creates art for art’s sake and is not actively engaged in the commercial service industry. Most people define graphic design in terms of aesthetics or form, not recognizing the difference between art and design in conceptual terms of artist’s intention versus industry. It is important to note that instead of simply appropriating forms available in the public realm, McGinness makes all of his own icons. He takes the authoritative aesthetic of iconic language that has traditionally resided in the world of anonymous design and uses that power for his own work and in the process introduces a new visual language to fine art. Trained and well versed in pictorial communication, his imagery has moved beyond its graphic design beginnings and come into its own with a unique, yet universal, communication system. Read the complete essay in Arkitip no. 48, Ryan McGinness