suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
ryan BROWNING: These paintings come from different moments in my studio during the past three years. The earliest paintings were conceived as depictions from an imagined creation myth in which virtual space was a sort of materia prima. I was interested in classical and modernist methods of rendering space and form in painting, but looked to virtual worlds and video games for ideas about more contemporary modes of spatial interaction and depth.
I began with an interest in polyhedral form, and often modeled my subjects with 3D Studio Max or Blender before taking them to the painting. Recently, I’ve become more invested in the process of painting and working everything out on paper or directly on the canvas, eliminating any digital preparatory work. In the last year I’ve become more interested in the canvas as a place to carve and delve; I still begin with a setting or a place, but allow subjects to develop organically as I work through the painting and populate the space it suggests. When the painting is complete, I feel I’ve inhabited it in some way.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
rB: I am deeply and proudly indebted to the many hours I used to spend in Everquest (among many other boogery, texture-mapped, polyhedral environments of the past). Painters I think of often include Matthias Weischer, Neo Rauch, WJM Turner, Thomas Cole, Edouard Manet, Al Held, others…
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
rB: There is a long span of time covered here, but some things I should mention: Frankenstein, a lot of Native American folklore, Harry Potter 1-7, some David Deutsch, Journey to the Center of the Earth, every single Star Trek movie (but not the series), not one single Star Wars movie, Lost (can I mention Lost?). I might also add that I played a lot of Super Mario Galaxy. Far too much.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
rB: I want to eat Allison Schulnik’s artwork! Also curious about Charles Avery – never seen his work in person, though.