Ryan Mosley, ‘Bacchanal Poetics’, 2016, Alison Jacques Gallery

About Ryan Mosley

Mosley synthesizes art-historical themes, styles, and movements into surreal, folk-inspired paintings that are wholly contemporary, yet appear timeless. Mosley does not sketch his paintings beforehand, instead treating his paintbrush as a pencil to build large-scale images through layers of translucent washes for a batik quality. This spontaneous technique results in theatrical spaces and fantastic scenes, at once whimsical and tragic, ambiguous and intriguing. Mosley’s work features recurring images of heads and masks, as well as harlequin-inspired, diamond patterned clothing, which serve as liberated and somber symbols of carnival and release. Mosley’s “Southern Banjo,” for example, features a minstrel playing a banjo underneath a tree. Isolated yet confident, Mosley’s figure merges a Wild West appearance with stylistic elements culled from Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Pierre Bonnard.

British, b. 1980, Chesterfield, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom

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