Looking at Richard Ryan’s printed images of New York - currently on display at the Scandinavian store hus - you’d think he has spent his entire life roaming this city’s streets. But that is not so. Ryan was born in Santiago de Chile and came to Stocholm at age five. He still makes Stockholm his home. In fact his New York prints are the results of shorter trips to the city during which he took thousands of photos.
“My background is that of a photographer and an illustrator,” explains a dapper-looking Ryan during his opening at hus, “so even though I am new to a place, I am used to quickly finding interesting angles and views. I was in New York ten days in 2005, during which I took over 2000 photos. It was hot, it was humid, it was actually quite unbearable. All I really did was walking around, taking photographs. When I came back home and saw the photos, I decided I wanted to do something with them, I decided to turn them into illustrated art. That way I would combine my two interests: Photography and art.”
Ryan began sketching and playing around with the photos right away, but quickly found that the images he had high hopes for, didn’t work at all.
“Some of my favorite photos didn’t work at all when I tried turning them into prints. And for others I had to change or add elements, because I wanted drama in every image.”
And there certainly is drama in these prints! Ryan tilts our favorite skyscrapers, bathes them in bright colors which has the effect of making New York even more New York. It’s Hitchcockian, it’s thrilling, it’s a hark back to old comic-books and most of all it offers us a refreshing look at our hometown. When hus-owner Steen Knigge saw photos of these images, he decided he wanted to exhibit them in hus.
“He got to now about me and my work through Fredrik Gisle of Ezteem watches,” Ryan continues. “My Manhattan images are available on those art-watches. And so Steen and I said let’s try exhibiting my prints at hus.”
After New York, there are other cities Ryan is thinking about turning into illustrated art.
“There are some cities in the world for which I have this... mental feeling,” he says. “New York is one of them. I love New York and I hate New York at the same time. To me New York means headache, loneliness, and fascination. What’s next? Well, I am thinking about San Francisco, to do San Francisco in voodoo-style.”
hus will showcase Ryan’s Manhattan Art Portfolio throughout the summer. They are on sale all summer. For more info, see
www.husliving.com (212) 620-5430
Text: Eva Stenskär
The artist himself, Richard Ryan, at his hus vernissage. “I love New York and I hate New York at the same time. To me New York means headache, loneliness, and fascination,” he said.