Award-winning watercolorist K. Ryan Henisey presented a fresh fine art collection in his debut solo exhibition at TAG (The Artist’s Gallery). Mythologies—selected watercolor, mixed media, and digital works—retells Queer myths from Classic and global mythology using contemporary self-portraiture. Henisey’s paintings were on display in the gallery from August 28-September 22, 2018.
In addition, Apollo, Hyacinth, and Zephyrus were selected for WeHo in Paso, a 2018 city-sponsored exhibit showcasing 12 West Hollywood artists. The show will appear at Studios in the Park in Paso Robles during the month of October and return home for exhibition in the public Werle Building for November.
A note on materials
Metal foil is used as an element throughout the works. The gold is false gold, purposefully left untreated to tarnish over time. The silver foil is tin, and will remain shiny in perpetuity. The copper is real and will oxidize and age with art. The metals are reflective of the artist’s conception of faith: beautiful but tarnished, often false but malleable with time.
Watercolor, ink, oil, and acrylic paints are used throughout the collection. Blues and pinks appear heavily in the works, incorporating contemporary US American patriotism into the concepts of Queer individuality and divinity.
Numbers play heavily through the collection. Basic concepts of numerology apply, with the addition of the artists’ insistence that four and 13 (or 1+3=4) are sacred Queer numbers representing the divine force of change (often embodied as destructive or violent elements).
Patterning and solid lines display the gods as beings that are both there and not-there. In the works, the shape of the gods opens onto another world, layering context and meaning without linear conceptions of time and space. Patterned figures reflect the hollow, empty aspect of belief and the beauty and hope that it maintains within our hearts.
The gods and heroes depicted here are a celebration of Queerness.
The artist, K Ryan Henisey, kneels before his painting, mimicking the pose of the figure in the art.