RYAN WHELAN

WHY AM I CRAWLING IN THIS DIRT?

GALLERY ANNEX | AUGUST 3 - 31, 2018

 

Please contact info@stephaniechefas.com to purchase any of the works. Payment plans are available upon request.

 

 
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RYAN WHELAN

Reaping Your Harvest

acrylic on paper

18 x 15 inches

For inquiries, please contact info@stephaniechefas.com

 

 
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RYAN WHELAN

The Salt of the Earth

acrylic on paper

15 x 19 inches

For inquiries, please contact info@stephaniechefas.com

 

 
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RYAN WHELAN

Is the Grass Always Greener?

acrylic on paper

15 x 15 inches

For inquiries, please contact info@stephaniechefas.com

 

 
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RYAN WHELAN

Salad Days

acrylic on paper

12 x 18 inches

For inquiries: info@stephaniechefas.com

 

 

This August, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to introduce Oakland based artist Ryan Whelan in the Gallery Annex with Why Am I Crawling in This Dirt?. Whelan strives to achieve strong contradictions in his work no matter the subject - ordinary becomes magical, simple turns complex, imperfection becomes perfection. In his latest collection of work, Whelan explores the romanticized world of agriculture from the perspective of a city boy, only to undermine his own heightened musings with stark revelations. As a result, the work takes on gritty undertones, even as waves of green bask in the midday sun. In the most direct and visual of ways, Whelan wonders if the grass is indeed always greener on the other side. 

"Although I romanticize the notion of living a natural life, the reality doesn't necessarily match.", says Whelan. "Grueling long days under the sun, breaking your back harvesting, and living in isolation can certainly be tough. It is almost a mirror of the ironic extremities of our digital urban lifestyles - long days staring at a bright screen, hunched over at multiple devices and living overwhelming connected to everyone and everything at once. Sometimes I find myself asking 'Why am I staring at this screen?', and I am sure there must be people at the same time somewhere on a farm saying 'Why am I crawling in this dirt?'. These idyllic scenes harbor an intense optimism for a natural life, but still allude to the intense struggles of agriculture through the sharp contrasts of landforms and intense vibrancy of the sun - nature can be just as dirty as it is fresh and invigorating."

The opening reception for Why Am I Crawling in This Dirt? will be held at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Friday, August 3rd from 7-10pm. Stephanie Chefas Projects is located in Portland, Oregon at 305 SE 3rd Avenue on the second floor of the Urban Row building. The exhibition will be on view through August 31st, 2018 and is free and open to the public.