Ryan Travis Christian received a review for his most recent exhibition in issue 145 of Frieze Magazine.
“Death is not death in children’s cartoons – characters bounce back to life no matter how absurd the violence. This warping of mortality informs Ryan Travis Christian’s art works. His chiaroscuro graphite drawings recall the black and white Disney cartoons of the 1920s. The ‘River Rats’ series (2011) stylistically puns on the happy rodent Mickey Mouse, whose human aspirations Christian drowns in the gutter. A new cast of villains emerges, too: the blobby type with vacant eyes that multiplies at will, high on hijinks and frightful in their conformity. In nodding to early Disney animation, Christian fills in his characters with the cultural politics of that era. The hugely influential Disney animator Ub Iwerks emigrated from Germany to the US and gave life to Mickey. Iwerks was responsible for defining the Disney style and developed it simultaneous to German Expressionism. His Skeleton Dance of 1929 redefined the age-old dance-of-death genre for children, and Christian borrows freely from the campy horror of Iwerks’ cult classic, where a graveyard is a playground for death to rattle out its funeral song. Here, humour is horror in disguise.”
To read the full review please visit Frieze Magazine.
For more information about Ryan Travis Christian please contact the gallery: