There’s no doubt Perth artist Ryan Boserio has something unique going on, and that his imagination seems limited only by the amount of time it takes to create a piece.
Bosarios style is not only beautifully rendered, it is also touched by an ethereal attitude; fantasms, depthly creatures and slipstreamed colloquial characters all intermeshed with modern urban and conceptual ideas. Being lovers of conceptual art ourselves, we equally love this influence in his work – each image could easily represent a minute snapshot in a vast world of intrigue and drama. As down to earth as his work is, there is still a note of epic amongst much of it, so much so that we can hardly help wishing that we could go out and buy the book, read the comic or see the movie – it’s this sense of “leave us wanting more” from each singular piece that means, for us, that his art “just works”.
With the influences of his graffiti background, coupled with a grasp of clearly invoked storylines, Boserios work stands with a decisive, firm foot forward. He is an artist who has managed to create truly intriguing and realms from his inner world with a confluence of passionate ideas – we are, unashamedly, big fans.
So, read on for the interview we did with Ryan in the lead up to his show this Friday night in Fremantle, and check it all out for yourself …
Tell us a bit about your early days doing graff and getting into art for the first time – what were your favourite locales, who were early influences, what was the Perth scene like when you started out and what drew you to painting walls in the first place?
The Silos was the day spot that I remember most. It was a great place where writers from all over would come to paint. Perth lacks a really big chill day spot like that right now and I don’t know how kids are skilling up to go out and paint any more, because even day spots in Perth are being raided, which is ridiculous. I want to say thanks to all the graff heads that had time for me back then, because I was little rat bag with no respect and occasionally I act like that now, so if you catch me being a tool, then just take me aside and tell me to pull my socks up.
I guess I started the way all guys got started, I found a copy of Wild Style and was looking at Subway Art – it’s a bit of a cliché.
Most of your pieces have an intelligence of narrative behind them; what are some of your favourite stories to tell with your work? We can see a fair level of scifi/surreal/fantasy influence in some of your more recent pieces …
I love concept art and commercial/entertainment design. I like mixing hip hop and street narrative with stuff from sci-fi and fantasy because it’s a way to distance myself from it and make fun of all that stuff without getting too personal.
I want to make sure that everyone knows I’m not making fun of one person, or whatever is going on right now, I’m making fun of this idealised version of it.
Comics, books, movies, whatever, the list is way too long for me to get into.
We’re curious about something, because its not an opinion we hear too often from artists with a graff background – we saw in an interview that it was the possibility that you may be offending other people aesthetically, or ” visually mugging people”, that lead you to no longer doing work illegally – does this still hold true? What if someone hates a legal piece you’ve done out in the public, would that be the same thing? Can you delve into this for us a little?
Sure. There are a few things going on in that particular interview that just come from being a novice at PR.
Firstly, a short time before that interview took place, a good friend of mine was caught up by a guy pretending to be a journalist from the ABC and t,here were a few arrests made. I thought it better, even though I was well out of that graff stage, to distance myself from graff culture, because I didn’t need that kind of complication in my life.
The other concern I had was that I really wanted to emphasise to people that I wasn’t doing ills any more. I mean, I must have said I was going to quit painting illegally about 30 times before I managed that interview and every time I say it, it gets a little more true. I come across like a legal eagle in interviews and it isn’t really the case, I still get drunk and lapse, but I’m trying to straighten out.
We love planes; where did your motif come from originally? What is it that draws you to that symbol, and what does it represent for both you and your artwork?
Thanks for the love! The plane was originally a concept just for one exhibition that I did with Kid Zoom and Daek William. Actually, I kind of stole it off Daek William who was going to do a series of plane paintings and I took the idea and turned it into a whole other animal that I don’t think he or I anticipated.
Right now it represents the freedom for me to make stuff with lots of different styles and techniques and slap a plane logo on it to give it some sort of cohesion as a body of work. Corporations have been doing it for years and it’s effective.
The plane as a symbol relates to plane spotting. Plane spotters have been put in gaol just for observation of planes in the ‘wild’ and it reminds me that appropriation has consequences that aren’t always good.
You’ve done a fair bit of work with more corporate entities as well, Converse, Absolut and Becks to name a few – is working within the system and taking these commercial jobs a necessity for todays artist, and where, creatively, does it all sit with your work?
I guess if you go to my site, then you might think I do work for all these big name clients and I must be killing it, but I’m still just in my artistic infancy. The product of those jobs has often been quite embarrassing or sub-par so you wont find many pictures of that stuff floating around. Plus, I didn’t get paid much, I would have made more money being a dish pig in that time.
In terms of operating within the system, I have never understood that aversion to corporate clients. That stuff is actually fascinating and current – I have no problem seeing it as having just as much worth as work that you do for yourself alone and I certainly don’t see myself as fighting against evil corporations, the government or an elitist art world, or anything like that.
That being said, no, I don’t think it’s necessary to work commercially at all, but life would definitely be harder for me if I didn’t.
What is “multimedia” today, for you? With the cross over and constantly interacting technologies and “mediums” on a constant basis do you believe this term still has relevance? Where do electronic methods of creating artwork sit within your overall creative output?
Shit, good question. No, I don’t think the term “multimedia” is relevant any more, but it’s one of those things like “street art” where you have to throw it around to help the laymen understand what direction you’re coming from. It’s one of those terms that’s a necessary evil that, hopefully one day, we can get rid of and just call it art.
In the last year I’ve picked up some 3d skills and I’m also interested in motion graphics and animation, but most of that stuff won’t see the light of day, either because it’s bad or because it’s for a client. Digital painting is awesome though, I utilise it a lot for planning walls and canvas projects, it helps me do little sketches in colour quickly and you don’t have to get your hands dirty. It’s awesome.
Tell us a bit more about your film making – we’ve seen it mentioned a few times but we haven’t been able to find out too much about it; what kind of work do you do, and what disciplines does making film have in common with artistry, and vice versa?
Basically I know how to animate, do motion graphics, edit film and to a lesser extent SFX. I have a really crap camera and I can’t afford to get another one right now. It just means I can make and edit my own promo flicks and I’ve helped other artists out with theirs in the past.
I’m not especially looking to go into film making or anything right now.
So, what about this show that you have coming up at Hole In The Wall? What will it entail, and how did the show come about?
It’s an exhibition of stuff I’ve been working on for six months or so, entitled Vignettes. It’s composed of a bunch of paintings that are sort of narrative based, more related to traditional illustration than anything else and I’ve also got a few small sculptural pieces.
I really wish I could work on it for longer, because I have so many more ideas for paintings that I just ran out of time to do. I might have to do a part 2 or something.
The whole thing came about because I know the gallery guys really well, from before I was even doing this art hustle thing and I know they are going to take care of me at the same time as being professional. I have much love for the Hole In The Wall lads.
What’s next, after the show? Do you have anything planned for the rest of the year, and what else can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m in so deep with this exhibition I can’t really say.
I’m already planning another show and I have no idea why, I mean, my solo show is a few days away. I know that I’m moving to Melbourne straight after the exhibition for non art related reasons, so you might be seeing me pop up around the traps a bit more …
Check out Ryan Boserios website, as well as info on his upcoming show, Vignettes. for more info!!