Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Campbell.
Ryan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in 81 and grew up in Los Angeles. My family was in the restaurant business and from a very early age, I was really obsessed with color and Mark making. I was always sick which meant lots of trips to Children’s Hospital which kept us on the freeways pretty regularly. So from a very early age, I was looking at lots of different landscapes and took a very strong mental note of the Graffiti that I was seeing. By the time I was about 12 or so my family was going to Santa Monica in Venice Beach on the weekends to go cruise the boardwalk and hang out. By the time I was about 12 or so my family was going to Santa Monica and Venice Beach on the weekends to go cruise the boardwalk and hang out at the beach. I would always skate down to the pavilion and look at the graffiti and hang out to see if I could catch glimpses of anyone painting. One day I found a couple of guys painting and hung out and watched them for a couple of hours. It turned out to be a couple of members from AWR/MSK. By that time, I had already started carrying a black book sketchbook with me everywhere. I remember walking up to Tyke Witnes and asking him to sign my book. He welcomed me very kindly and he was nice enough to chat with me. Bestie some words of encouragement and signed my book.
I still have that book and for me that was a very pivotal point in my life. That’s was around 93. I always looked at art but for the first time, I found an art that really fascinated me and felt like hey maybe I could do that.
And a few years later still obsessed I started hanging out at Workman’s outlet in Pasadena. Which at the time was the only hip-hop culture store anywhere close unless I got a ride down to Melrose. But it gave me hope because for the first time that culture and artwork were within my grasp. I met 455er CBS schooled me about art and hip hop. He would later introduce me to my first art mentor. Artist Erik Alós. Erik would act as my first mentor who would guide me through fundamentals of drawing art and design. Which I had taken at school but was such a miserable student that could never really get it but once I started doing graffiti it all made sense.
I was given several names over time but the one that stuck was Motel. My house is kind of the house where everybody can kind of stay over and there was a little bit more loose in terms of rules and coming and going. So one day somebody asked me if you’re going to stay at the Motel Campbell and it stuck. After getting into some trouble and experimenting with some drugs and alcohol, I finally made my way to the desert in 2001. Which proved to be the smartest choice I ever made. I was able to completely give myself to the work and dedicate my life to making marks. Free of the bounds that Can constrain us when we are young and growing and it is difficult to find our path. I will say that I’m very grateful and very thankful is that the art found me.
I worked several jobs and tried to do everything I could to live a normal life when I move to the desert. But as life has shown us recently, things don’t always work as planned. I found myself really not happy in a retail job and had enough quit my job walked into a beautiful gallery and applied for a job there. It would turn out to be my first art job working as an assistant at the Imago Gallery in Palm Desert. I learned about Rucha, Moses, Robert Graham some of today’s most important Masters. They would become by inspiration and mentors. My love for art making only became more empowered. I dedicated myself to making marks daily and will continue to work around your business which would later bring me to reconnecting with friend Phillip K. Smith. We showed some work together around 09 and would see one another at openings. We reconnected it in about 2012. I offered to help him de install a sculpture and from there he slowly became a great friend and mentor. I helped him out in his studio for a few years while my work was being made at home. One day I brought some paintings in for a critique. I kept pushing to make the paintings better and have a better understanding of what I was making. In 2014, my first groupings were purchased and place by the Goldenvoice Art Squad. Thank you for that PC.
With that sale, I was able to propose to my wife. This was a dream come true. To be able to sell work and share that excitement and love with the women, I love more than anyone. We got married and I kept making art. I was invited to have a solo show with curator Sarah Scheideman in her gallery CVAS here in the desert. That led me to making More work and eventually showing work with Royale Projects in Los Angeles. Where I created my first Line Segments Mural in the DTLA Arts District on Alameda and 4th. I’ve continued to make murals and have been able to make some sculptures. I have worked on murals with The city of Palm Springs, Covered CA and Branded Arts. Most recently, I was invited to hold an Artist Residency at the Palm Springs Art Museum. I live with the mantra. Make marks everyday. I’ve always had pretty serious medical problems which probably helped me good at being able to hunker down and focusing on making artwork. When I was 14, I had open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that was at the time surgery number 13. Most recently July 26, 2019 I had epilepsy brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. I’m doing great now and back to making marks and happier than I’ve ever been. Like most of the world, I don’t really know what’s in store for us but I do know that if I keep making marks everything‘s OK within me. #endepilepsy
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My works are created by adapting to various surfaces and spaces through the use of color layered in contrasting angles to achieve depth and order of composition through the use of line. The layering process is systematic and decisions are made along the way. The decisions come from a set of parameters dealing with angles. At times numerical sequences are based on the multiples of 3 but balance and color weight take precedent. Color choices come from my foundation making graffiti. Each painting is unique experience for me. I find much inspiration in the beauty of the California Deserts often shifting colors of the sky across the landscape and ultimately the natural light here in the vast Sonoran desert. My works are informed by the abstraction of shapes and patterns as well as specific architectural elemental references. I recompose, layer and abstract from the specific kinds of geometry experienced in everyday life. I want these works to have a vibratory effect that creates examples of depth in each unique piece. Just as unique as each viewer or as singular as a setting sun or the shadows that shift through the day and night. Capturing the energy and pulse within each painting or sculpture is what I attempt to achieve through my work.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
Success can be measured on setting out to accomplish something and doing it. When all the stars align its the area of secret sauce. That’s made up of skill, knowledge and experience. When all those things come together. That to me is success. I think a very important characteristic of an artist to have success is dedication to making the marks.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Palm Springs Art Museum Artist in Residency RMC1 Pop Up Open Studio – 2/21-2/22
The Joshua Treenial. Boxo Projects. Joshua Tree, California.
Artrageous Auction Presented by: Artsy and Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California (work sold)
Objects May Appear: Luster and the monochrome in contemporary art. Royale Projects Palm
Desert/Los Angeles CA
Next in Line: solo exhibition, The CVAS Gallery, Cathedral City CA
Bid21 Spring Auction Gallery 446. Palm Springs CA (work sold)
“5” The Golden era of street art, Gallery 446 Palm Springs CA
City of Palm Springs annual juried exhibition. Awarded 3rd place, Palm Springs CA
Get Art Los Angeles, Hollywood CA
Highest Form Gallery presents: Ryan Campbell Early Works. Palm Springs CA
The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles California
The West Coast Art and Frame exhibition, Las Vegas Nevada
College of the Desert Marks art Center
The City of Palm Desert’ Community gallery three man show titled THREE
Stick and Move, Tokyo, Japan
13th Annual Pam Springs Juried Show, Palm Springs, California
99 Buck Palm Springs Art Museum Auction, Palm Springs, California
The Hive Gallery group show, Los Angeles, California
12th Annual Palm Springs City juried exhibition.
Smash the like and follow button! @rmc1
All you have to do is reach out. We are pretty quick to respond. I am available for murals, sculpture and private commissions. You can buy Smaller works on paper directly through my studio on social media and my website. My Cathedral City studio is always open for visits and direct sales but serious inquiries only please. Larger Selected works are available through Timothy Yarger Fine Art Los Angeles.
- Website: www.rmc1studio.com
- Phone: 3106972953
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rmc1/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/RMC1RyanCampbell/
Lance Gerber, Kim Utley