Artist Interview With Ryan Callanan

12 August 2015

Life's A Gamble-Ryan Callanan-Resin, paint, wood & glass(framed)

Ryan Callanan aka RYCA’s hotly anticipated new show ‘Life’s A Gamble’ opens in the gallery this Friday 7th August. Earlier this year saw Ryan build upon his ever-growing reputation stateside when he was awarded ‘Visual Artist of the Year’ by Britweek in conjunction with the contemporary art magazine Juxtapoz. Ryan received the award happened alongside his hugely popular LA debut exhibition ‘Rough With The Smooth’, which featured his newest body of work that comes under the umbrella of ‘Poptorian’; Ryan’s great term for his unique blend of Pop Art, created using tradition Victorian sign making processes and techniques.

 We caught up with Ryan to talk Hip Hop, Nursery Rhymes and his current level of excited regarding the forthcoming Star Wars Films. Read on to find out more about ‘Life’s A Gamble’, a show that promises to a red-hot summer highlight.

Your new show is called ‘Life’s a Gamble’, are you a gambling man yourself? If so what’s your game of choice?

The only gambles I take are ideas. I’ve had a long winning streak so far..

Do you have a favourite piece from ‘Life’s A Gamble’?

I change my mind all the time, but the latest acid emoji “blowing a kiss” is my current favourite.

What is the significance of the show title?

It’s a statement about the gamble I took changing my old day job into an art form. It’s also a hip-hop track by Jay Rock, who I discovered through listening to Kendrick Lamar.

You’ve recently had your debut US show ‘Rough With The Smooth’ in LA. What was the reaction like from those stateside and how did you find the whole experience?

The shows have been great made a lot of contacts and new fans, I hope to work out there a lot more. It wasn’t my debut US show though, that was with Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami in 2013.

You’re well known for your lyrical 3D works. Do you have a favourite summer tune you’ll be reloading in the studio?

Current favourite is Jamie XX “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”but also “The Day Is My Enemy” by prodigy is getting rinsed.

We’re very excited to have your exclusive Biggie Small Buddha on show at ink-d, what’s your favourite Biggie track/lyric?

Biggie is number one. Single favourite track? Has to be “Juicy”

Your due to become a father this month, do you see yourself replacing rap lyrics with perhaps nursery rhymes in future works?

Maybe! Nursery rhymes are often dark in meaning. In fact we have a Ben Eine “Oranges and Lemons” in the nursery already. I'd like to work on visual realisations of nursery rhymes. I’m currently obsessed with illustrations from Kids books.

You’re a self-confessed Star Wars super-fan on a scale of 1-10 how excited are you about the new film dropping this December and do you have anything planned to mark the new arrival?

I’m on 12 with excitement. Seriously buzzing, I’m not into spoilers and have resisted the online leaks- the officially released trailers and footage is enough. I have a lot of faith in JJ Abrams – he reinvented Star Trek!

If you were on death row and could see one final work of art what would you choose to see?

Something happy. Go out smiling.

If you could invite any three artists living or dead to dinner who would you choose?

Warhol, Basquiat and Stan Winston.

What are you working on at the moment?

Stuff for art Basel, Miami in December. Also starting on works for my solo show in London next year, but I’m always working on things that don’t have a place/purpose.




Private view Friday 7th August from 6.30pm - 8.30pm