Posted by Levi Hanes
It has been a couple of weeks since the presentation/lecture. No real excuse for not writing anything about it except I had hoped to flesh out some lingering questions and maybe see if anything gelled in my head as to what I would write. I anticipated and interesting show what with a young artist who seems to be making it fairly well for himself. Ryan McGinness spoke well, had a sense of humor with a coxing of the audience to give him a resounding entrance of clapping. McGinness laid out his work over the years, presenting his early work as a designer and its influence over his current work.
The work itself is very design heavy. Katherine Bovee does bring up a valid point in her article in Port on the slickness and expo-booth aspects of the mural with commodity/painting inserts. It maybe that McGinness is cutting to the chase. There is always something to buy of a show, whether it is the gallery catalogue or the artist (say to commission another piece), that McGinness incorporates the articles within the work seems to fit his own standing on art and commodity. These don’t have to be mutually exclusive things (and I can’t think of an instance when they are, however hidden) and I think it is hypocritical to act as if there is a separation. Ryan McGinness is definitely savvy with the vocabulary of design oriented works, graphic and commercial marketing. His environments are presented with substantial analysis and environmental awares. Not having seen any of his work outside of slides and printed image I have to reserve any visual criticism, but as a presentation I found McGinness explanation of process and philosophical approach engaging and well worth the visit.