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Meet K Ryan Henisey

Today we’d like to introduce you to K Ryan Henisey.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up just north of Los Angeles, on the edge of the Angeles National Forrest. My dad’s house sits in a box canyon, and most nights the wind likes to whistle through the pines, and low trees. When the Santa Ana’s blow through Los Angeles, I’m reminded of being a boy at home, with the wind a living thing just outside my window.

I always wanted to be an artist and caught the bug early–influenced by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Yellow Umbrellas, installed just miles from my home; and by Arizona watercolorist Mia Tschampel. Developing artistic skills was always encouraged, alongside a full education.

I taught general education for about a decade in California Public Schools before focusing on communications arts. Now, I use my creative skills in a professional context to shape and deliver messages around the world. In the creative sector, I recently joined the artist collective at TAG Gallery in Los Angeles and regularly show in southern California.

Please tell us about your art.
As a narrative artist, I have a few collections that tell their own stories. But this year I’m working on a set of paintings that joyously recreate a queer mythology. One of my current pieces is a set of 100 portraits using selfies from LGBT Instagrammers and allies. I love the interactive aspects of the project and spreading a bit of joy, randomly, to individuals in the global queer community. Seeing the portraits as profile pictures is a real treat.

Collectively, they will appear as a set of “icons” in my upcoming September show. Using myth, maps, and patterns as a unifying visual language, I want the viewer to make a connection between what is considered “holy” and what is “queer”–to recognize the beauty in diversity. And I like the idea of elevating the selfie. Like icons of old, they’ve a collective effect on ow we view the world.

The multimedia collection will appear at TAG Gallery in September 2018.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Tricky question. But what matters to me is twofold: form and content. I want to create beautiful things that have an impact. The most successful pieces, to me, are those that cause you to ask questions, to think a bit more about the human experience, or that help you find meaning in the disparate jumble that makes our reality. I care about art that defines us.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have pieces up at Gallery 825 as part of the Multiple Feeds! show, opening April 28 (6-9pm). They will be on display through June 1.

As a member artist at TAG Gallery, I’ll have a piece up each month through 2018. My solo show opens September 1.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
K Ryan Henisey

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