亂世中的黑色幽默 | DARK HUMOUR IN TROUBLED TIMES

混亂總是一觸即發,每個人都在以自己的方式盡力渡過難關。一眾藝術家對這次新冠肺炎帶來的全球性影響都抱有不同情緒和體會,其中向來喜歡探索社會黑暗面的美國藝術家Ryan Travis Christian,最近於其亞洲首次個展「HERE COMES THE ROOSTER」中以黑色筆觸和幽默的視角回應現實的荒謬。

We are always on the verge of chaos, and everyone is trying his best to overcome challenges in his own way. Artists across the world react to the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts in different manners, including American artist Ryan Travis Christian, who has always been interested in exploring the sinister side of society. In his first solo exhibition in Asia, HERE COMES THE ROOSTER, he responds to the absurdity of reality with his monochromatic strokes and dark humor.

是次展覽於2020 年9 月3 日至10 月4 日在Over the Influence舉行。本次展示的作品中,Christian用擬人化的手法創作了一系列角色,透過黑色幽默描繪混亂狀態的情境。除了其經典的炭筆紙本作品,展覽亦帶來藝術家的油畫新作,這也是他首次公開展示此類媒介。

The exhibition runs from 3 September to 4 October 2020 at the Upper Gallery of Over the Influence. For his new show, Christian created a menagerie of personified characters to depict his dark worldview under the chaotic situation. Featuring new charcoal on paper works in his signature style, the exhibition also showcases a new series of canvas paintings, which is the first time Christian ever made a public display of such media.

CRUISIN USA 2, 2020, Charcoal on paper, 76.2 x 113 cm, 30 x 44 1/2 in, (RTC 20.006)

Ryan Travis Christian 的創作受到經典政治卡通和手繪動畫的影響,它們常以輕鬆卻不祥的方式對美國城郊的政治、毒品和當代生活狀態展開評論。隨著2020 年新冠疫情導致的混亂於全球不斷蔓延,Christian 像我們中的許多人一樣,擺脫了對自己施加的行為限制。是次展覽的炭筆紙本繪畫,不同於以往他為人熟知的緊密細緻風格,而使用更自由的方式創作。作品特別保留了藝術家不小心留下的指印或肘印,其粗糙痕跡體現藝術家對當下世界狀況的感受:凌亂且不可預測 。

Christian’s work draws influence from vintage political cartoons and hand-drawn animation presented in a cheery yet ominous fashion to comment on politics, drugs, and the contemporary life of suburban America. As the chaos of 2020 unfolds amidst the global pandemic, Christian has, like many of us, pushed himself to break free of the self-imposed constraints of his practice. In contrary to the detailed and intricate pencil drawings that he is known for, the charcoal paintings exhibited this time were created in a freer manner. The works embrace the rough and residual marks that Christians left behind by a dirty fingertip or careless elbow, and embody his feelings about the state of the world – one of disorderliness and uncertainty.

MY FRIEND, MY FRIEND, 2020, Charcoal on paper, 76.2 x 113 cm, 30 x 44 1/2 in, (RTC 20.007)

正如公雞給雞舍帶來的混亂男子氣概一樣,「HERE COMES THE ROOSTER」像是一堆雜亂無章的圖像和俏皮話的無序組合,由此反映出我們的時代。自我鎮服的眼鏡蛇不省人事,具威脅性的鳥在街頭兜風。Christian 的刻薄作品標題和沾沾自喜的角色為黑暗注入了幽默感:環境破壞(《BUSHES DON’T EXIST ANYMORE》)、日益擴大的貧富差距(《THEY JUST LET IT BURN》),以及美國的現狀(《I’LL FIGHT THEM! I’LL FIGHT US TOO!》)。

Like the chaotic macho energy that a rooster brings to a chicken coop, HERE COMES THE ROOSTER is a jumble of imagery and one-liners chaotically organized into a reflection of our time. A self-medicating Cobra is stoned into oblivion and menacing birds joyride through the streets. Christian’s irreverent titles and smirking characters bring humor to darkness: environmental destruction (BUSHES DON’T EXIST ANYMORE), the ever-growing disparity between rich and poor (THEY JUST LET IT BURN), and the current state of the union (I’LL FIGHT THEM! I’LL FIGHT US TOO!). 

I’D RATHER 99, 2020, Charcoal on paper, 76.2 x 113 cm, 30 x 44 1/2 in, (RTC 20.016)

Ryan Travis Christian於1983年出生於美國加利福尼亞州奧克蘭市。他擁有北伊利諾伊大學學士學位。目前生活工作於美國伊利諾伊州的沃倫維爾。Christian 的作品曾於北卡羅來納州羅利的當代藝術博物館、紐約The Hole、舊金山的Guerrero Gallery、紐約東漢普頓的Halsey McKay、多倫多的Cooper Cole 等展出;亦曾參加多地的群展,包括在倫敦、鹿特丹、舊金山、費城、布魯克林、巴爾的摩、達拉斯和洛杉磯等。Christian 的創作曾被《Frieze》、《Art Ltd》、《New American Paintings》、《Daily Serving》、《Indy Week》以及《Associated Press》等知名媒體報導。其作品被收藏於全球眾多私人收藏中。

Ryan Travis Christian was born in 1983 in Oakland, California, USA. He received his BFA from Northern Illinois University. He lives and works in Warrenville, Illinois, USA. Christian’s exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC; The Hole, New York City; Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco; Halsey McKay in East Hampton, NY; and Cooper Cole in Toronto and has been included in group shows in London, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Dallas and Los Angeles. His work has been written about in frieze, art ltd, Art Papers, New American Paintings, Daily Serving, Indy Week and the Associated Press. His works are in numerous private collections worldwide.

Ryan Travis Christian “HERE COMES THE ROOSTER”​
Date: 2020.9.3 – 10.4​
Time: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 – 19:00​
Venue:​
Over the Influence Upper Gallery ​
香港中環荷李活道159號1樓​
159 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong​

圖片由藝術家和Over the Influence 提供​
Courtesy of the Artist and Over the Influence​

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