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RYAN BAPTISTE

Photos by Kendric Rosby

The majority of my work is done with acrylic and oil paint; however, I have explored sculptural methods as well. Primarily, photographs of wood from construction sites, dumpsters, and collapsed architecture served as the source of my work. The subject matter would often be in uncontrolled environments being exposed to natural elements. I developed beliefs that these sources had some emotional tie with the world, almost like a narrative about mankind, which I was not able to relay effectively. Eager for more ways to focus on the subject than just zooming and cropping on sections of photographs, I explored other methods. I was speaking in a metaphoric language that was in some cases difficult to understand, even for myself. Continuing this way proved that in many ways the work was really about my own views of the world. These sources eventually led to portraits of people with this thought in mind. Currently, I have begun merging my primary focus in painting with what is important to me; memories, feeling, and experiences. Mostly, people who have very significant influence in my own life serve as the muse of my work now.  I feel that my current works are emotionally and metaphorically charged portraits of friends and family that expose urban traditions and the human condition. Focusing on key events and situations that are both personal and global, I hope to create a sense of familiarity for most viewers and send others on a quest of discovery while referencing artists like Kerry James Marshall, Barkley L. Hendricks, Alice Neel, and Jordan Casteel, to name a few.