Over the Influence welcomes Ryan Travis Christian for his upcoming exhibition HERE COMES THE ROOSTER
For his upcoming exhibition HERE COMES THE ROOSTER at Over the Influence, Hong Kong, Ryan Travis Christian creates a menagerie of characters using anthropomorphism as a humorous route through a dark world view. The exhibition features new charcoal on paper works, alongside canvas paintings, a medium which the artist is exhibiting for the first time.
Ryan Travis Christian’s work draws influence from vintage political cartoons and hand-drawn animation used in a cheery yet ominous fashion to comment on politics, drugs, and the contemporary life of suburban America. As the chaos of 2020 unfolds amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Christian has, like many of us, pushed himself to break free of the self-imposed constraints of his practice. For his first solo exhibition in Asia, he has employed charcoal on paper in a freer version of the tightly intricate pencil drawings for which he’s known. The new body of work embraces the rough and residual marks of the artist left behind by a dirty fingertip or careless elbow and embodies the artist’s feelings about the state of the world – a world that is messy and unpredictable.
Like the chaotic macho energy that a rooster brings to a chicken coop, HERE COMES THE ROOSTER is a jumble of imagery and one-liners chaotically organized into a reflection of our time. A self-medicating Cobra is stoned into oblivion and menacing birds joyride through the streets. Christian’s irreverent titles and smirking characters bring humor to the darkness: environmental destruction (BUSHES DON’T EXIST ANYMORE), the ever-growing divide between rich and poor (THEY JUST LET IT BURN), and the current state of the union (I’LL FIGHT THEM! I’LL FIGHT US TOO!). Chaos is always on the horizon, and everyone is just trying to do their best to make it through.