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Ryan Bullock

"So far I have spent my entire adult life painting, not an amazing feat, but something that would certainly amaze a younger me. I've always loved detailed paintings because I couldn't wrap my head around how they were done. As a child my favorite artist was Chris Consani because of the amount of fine detail and color he put into his work. I remember studying his work so closely in an attempt to understand how it was made that my nose would be only inches from the painting. I thought getting so close to the painting and finding every brush stroke and change of color would instantly allow me to create works just as detailed and amazing as Chris', but I was young and naive. I could not paint like a great artist, or even as good as the kids in my class, so I basically gave up art.


Fast forward to my teenage years when I discovered graffiti and once again I was obsessed with art. The act of doing graffiti satisfied the frustrated artist inside of me while introducing me to a whole new way of creating art. Graffiti is a highly competitive culture and within it, everyone is constantly competing for space, style, and the respect of other artists. Being in an extremely competitive space you are forced to improve quickly and that's what made me take art more seriously. I began drawing constantly, filling sketch book after sketch book and spending nights in train yards and under bridges. I had spent so much time painting and drawing graffiti that when I finally stopped and looked back at what I had done I realized how much my art had improved.


Today I paint primarily with oil and always on canvas as the days of graffiti are years behind me. I now find myself truly enjoying the process of creating work rather than worrying about the perfection of the end result. There is a journey I take with the idea I have for a painting and as it is laid onto the canvas the idea grows and shrinks and the finished product is often a far cry from what it originated as. I like to let a painting evolve on its own rather than force into something I want it to be; I feel like the finished work is much better this way and I am way less frustrated with this process.

Because I paint so freely each one of my works tends to standalone in style and concept. Every painting is an experiment of methods, materials, and ideas, which allows me to create everything from traditional portraits and landscapes to surreal fantasy worlds and abstract expressionism. Because I am constantly experimenting with creating the art, I rarely consider what viewers will think or feel. While I enjoy painting with such little direction, I recognize it as a weakness in my ability to execute on demand whether it's an idea, technique, or message I want to convey.


At the end of the day, I am happy to be at a point where I don't have a negative or dangerous relationship with art. I have come a long way from needing to create the perfectly detailed Chris Consani replica and from wanting to paint every train, billboard, and bridge in the world."

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