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 Sharon Ryan  

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Lived/Active: California / Canada      Known for: abstract and botanical painting

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Biography from a third party submitted on 03/30/2007:
In this resent body of work I am continuing my exploration of sensual forms inherent in nature.   I have chosen the subject of leafless, pruned back and barren trees which I have painted in silhouette on a variety of wood veneers and papers.

For me, these pieces symbolically express life in death, death in life and the intercourse of man and women.  The stripped down trees, hacked away by the hand of man or by nature's destructive forces, may seem dead and grotesque, but are actually quite full of life, energy, beauty and sensuality.

The images of the trees in negative can be viewed simultaneously as abstract and representational forms.  They also represent my personal desire for the natural world to be protected, as it continues to inspire a spiritual longing beyond mere physical existence.  The collage-like installations suggest a primary and alternate view of the same Rorschach forms that exist naturally in my subjects.

Michael Duncan Corresponding Editor, Art in America:
All the works rely on a delicate balance between found patterns and gestural embellishments. With their sensual, modulated lines inspired by Japanese erotic art, Ryan’s paintings offer a kind of free-form decoration, playfully embossing the organic forms the human eye seeks out in nature. With the metamorphic magic of a fairy tale, Ryan’s trees divulge realms of melting flowers, spermlike serpents, tattooed trunks, and blossoming bosoms. Like the cranky, talking oaks in “The wizard of Oz”, they are only comically menacing. These unlikely creatures emerge from the narrow, murky depths to scare us, but we know they can’t follow; they are rooted and immobile, stuck in their places as paintings on the wall.

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