Split Personalities - Original Painting Release

Split Personalities
Acrylic, aerosol, house paint, marker
30" x 44"
2016 - 2017

Split_web3.jpg

Original painting is available. Please contact for sale inquires.

The piece was designed to be flipped or hung either way, depending on the mood of the viewer or of the artist. During the process, I would switch the piece around to work on either side, as a compliment to whatever I was feeling in that moment. The piece is themed around the concept of duality, a persistent underlying entanglement of synchronicity which affects all phenomena in our immediate universe, whether we are aware of it or not. Despite how disproportionate things may seem at times, there is always a delicate balance of good and evil, positive and negative, black and white, yin and yang, ebb and flow that is present amongst all matter. 

I began this piece at a very turbulent time in my life, where I was seeking self introspection and analysis, through creative expression. For the better part of a decade, I've experienced a consistent yet subtle form of the bi-polar spectrum, most notably characterized by a manic episode that put me in a psychiatric ward at the age of 19. Basically, my mood fluctuates from two extremes, either being deeply depressed, emotional, irrationally bleak, hopeless and reclusive. On the other end of the spectrum, I am manic, excitable, idealistic, super energetic, flooded with ideas, non-stop productive and extroverted. The two moods are very much interconnected. If I allow mania to persist, eventually I burn out, my energy crashes, my drained neurochemistry plummets me into despair and emptiness. If I dwell in sadness for too long, I am inclined to make up for lost time, to push forward harder than before, to strive toward a renewed sense of happiness. Sometimes I shoot too far, my mania takes hold, and the cycle continues.

While creating Split Personalities, I pondered about the interconnectedness of nature, our brains, our environment, our emotions, and our behaviors or choices that influence our overall biochemistry. The red, manic, dilated face, though smiling, has a crazy look in his eyes, as he swallows a mysterious green tablet. The bright red is for the inflammation response in the body that results from high stress/high adrenaline mind states, which can also lead to anger. The festival party in his head, symbolizes the racing, loud thoughts bouncing around in his mind. This version acts upon impulse, he chases the fun and excitement in life, and wants to soak up every last drop of experience to be had. To him, the highs will never end.

The blue, depressed, weary face reflects the darker side of the coin, the one that we would all rather ignore and forget about. The blue reflects the coldness of being alone, of having no hope of repressing your inner feelings. The lurking city spews smoke and pollution, a decaying metropolis, where everyone is separated and disconnected in concrete boxes. A train hurtles toward a broken off track, ready to plummet to its doom. A leaky pipe floods toxins into the ocean, dripping into the characters psyche and polluting his mind. A cigarette burns away the few cares that are left, a quick fix that only further clouds his world. A lone shadowy figure, paddles a small wooden boat, turning his back on this urban prison as he floats into the unknown. The character glances off into the distance, wondering if the lows will ever disappear, though doubtful.

The truth is, neither version of this character is right or wrong, one would not exist without the other. They can only function as polar opposites, whereas the true balance is the middle path: to recognize these states as separate from the Self, temporary in nature, as to not become attached or invested in either one of them, or allowing them to define your real personality. The goal is to increase self awareness, to realize when one state is taking control before it happens, and to return to center, through various tools, practices and disciplines.

Over the years I've explored many remedies and solutions to this condition, most of them offering nothing more than temporary relief of symptoms. I found early on that pharmaceutical medications altered my brain in ways I really didn't enjoy, I felt numbed and spaced out. Eventually I gave up despite what doctors told me, and have self medicated with cannabis ever since, treating depession, anxiety, and general mood swings. Its not a cure all by any means but helps keep my emotions regulated and less rapid fluctuation. Another extremely beneficial ally has been microdosing of psilocbyin, which I have found to provide enormous relief in lowering anxiety, improving mood, increasing focus, energy and sociability, while allowing space for peace of mind and calm introspection. I found microdosing to also have amazing creative advantages, which I utilized several times during the creation of this piece. Once again, there is no magic button to cure this ailment. But when you combine these plant medicines with intention, meditation, yoga/exercise, a clean healthy diet, and writing or creative expression, the results are astounding. 

Creating Split Personalities greatly helped me overcome many issues that were holding me back from pursing Art as my true purpose and calling in life, making sense of who I am and why I'm here. The process provided me with enormous benefits, simply by examining my mental states, contemplating them, and expressing them onto canvas, as a therapeutic practice. Art has the power to heal, either through observance or engagement, it allows us a platform in which to express very challenging, abstract feelings or ideas, and to purge them from our system, into something tangible. This can be done by anyone, at any skill level, with any type of creative outlet or medium in which you choose. For me, mixed media painting gives me the happiest feeling, so that's what I choose to do most. The hardest part is overcoming fear, facing one's true Self, and asking, what is it that I'm really trying to say here?

One Love - Ryan

The Witch Doctor - Original Painting Release

“The shaman is not merely a sick man, or a madman; 
he is a sick man who has healed himself.” 
- Terrence McKenna

"The Witch Doctor"
2015 - 2016
Acrylic, Spray Paint, House Paint on Canvas
40" x 30"

Many shapes and forms of this art available soon.

This painting began January of 2015, in my home studio. The idea was to create a large sized painting with as much detail as possible. I started by creating layers of the background using spray paint and house paint. A large stencil was hand drawn and cut to fill the void with patterns. Next, I rendered the shape in pencil and slowly filled in layers and layers of acrylic. Half of this piece was sketched out beforehand, but many elements and colors were added or changed as the piece progressed.

The Witch Doctor has traveled and been painted on at many gatherings and locations, it has absorbed inspiration from many perspectives, and been observed by many eyeballs during its evolution. Although a majority of the work was completed in the studio, overall around 200+ hours of painting took place from start to finish. Needless to say it is the most time I have spent on one piece of art in my life.

The concept behind the Witch Doctor, is the depiction of a tribal medicine man, one of universal nature, belonging to no singular origin or creed. He is the archetype of a psychedelic warrior, voyaging and exploring vast dimensions to uncover hidden knowledge. His connection with plants, herbs and fungi opens new doors of healing and awakening. He ceremoniously offers the viewer a cup of his mysterious concoction, as it pulses with the dualistic energy of swirling galaxy waterfalls of abundance. The smoke that arises from the sacraments slowly morphs into colored snakes, two halves of the caduceus, whose venom drips toward the Doctor. His third eye is a blooming explosion, birthing a universe of alchemical infinity, unlocking ancient secrets. Vibrations flow through his ears as he tunes to a higher frequency. The spores and seeds drip from his hands into an endless ocean of stars. All is one.

New Studio Build

Things are starting to come together with the design and build of this new studio. Located at The WorcShop, the largest makerspace in central MA, I am renting a section of a warehouse shop that I have converted into an art studio. Basically everything was designed and cconstructed by myself for about $500 (some supplies and tools I already had or sourced for free). I'm about 50 hours into the project so now seemed like a good time to share some progress.

Full studio from the entrance.

Full studio from the entrance.

Wall for hanging works in progress.

Wall for hanging works in progress.

Extra shelving, flexible LED lighting, 

Extra shelving, flexible LED lighting, 

The white wall is a dry erase board for sketching.

The white wall is a dry erase board for sketching.

Palette rack for storage.

Palette rack for storage.

Since the floor space is only 8' x 12', I have to maximze functionality of this garage bay. I do this by creating accessible storage. Paints, tools, art materials are kept on the ground level. Canvas, frames, vending gear, and other gear is stored up top. The bottom shelf consists of flat files, which store paper, prints and canvas.

The next and final phase will include building a work table on wheels, adding colored and UV lighting, built in ladders for reaching upper shelves, and adding a curtain for 'closing and opening' the shop. 

Really loving the layout and flow of the space of far. The project so far has been extremely fun and challenging, forcing me to analyze my approach to making art. I'm excited to see how this atmosphere will influence the creative process. Finally time to break this studio in!

 

Summer Art Tour Update

We're about halfway through the busy festival season! With several solid shows under the belt, it feels good to have a few weeks off to relax and catch my breath. Much of my energy has been put into exhibiting new work, developing my vending setup and starting new live painting pieces. Also, I've been putting a lot of focus into building bonds with fellow artists, musicians, performers and friends in the scene who share similar ideals and values regarding creativity. I hope to carry this positive momentum into the next few festivals, and continue growing alongside this community of beautiful, talented human beings.

Here's a photo recap of a few recent events where my art was featured:

FractalFest 2016 - July 8-10 - Stephentown, NY

Disc Jam Music Festival - June 9-12 - Stephentown, NY

Strange Creek Music Festival - May 27-29 - Greenfield, MA

May Day Hey Day - May 1st - The Shop, Worcester, MA

My son Rocko holding down the vendor table.

My son Rocko holding down the vendor table.

Spin art demonstration for the kids workshop. Photo by Adrian Feliciano.

Spin art demonstration for the kids workshop. Photo by Adrian Feliciano.


New England Cannabis Convention - April 23-24 - Hynes Center, Boston MA

My lovely fiance' Nikki sitting behind the vending both at NECC.

My lovely fiance' Nikki sitting behind the vending both at NECC.

Live painting on The Witch Doctor at NECC

Live painting on The Witch Doctor at NECC