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August 21, 2008

Work by Ryan Humphrey at the DPA re:FORM art auction

Work by Ryan Humphrey at the DPA re:FORM art auction.

So we're going to continue to highlight some of the exceptional items artists donated to the DPA's re:FORM art auction on September 3rd at Cheim and Read Gallery.. If you missed our last post on the donation by Andy Diaz Hope..check it out. Don't forget to get your tickets now.. right here!

Ryan_Humphrey_Axe Today's focus is on artist Ryan Humphrey and his cool AX..

You may know his work from the hot hot hot cutting edge DCKT Contemporary Galleryon the Lower East Side.. where Ryan has his next  new solo show opening on September 18th.

Or you couch potatoes may know Ryan from his TV appearance on the Bravo show Top Design (Season 1) last year. Ryan didn't win.. but he certainly added to the reality TV Drama.

Recently Ryan has completed a big commission for The Progressive Corporation (http://art.progressive.com/) where he turned a John Deere riding tractor into a mini big-rig for a campaign.

He's been in a bunch of group shows including Five by Five: Contemporary Artists on Contemporary Art at The Whitney, a Touring group show- "Boys Will be Boys" curated by Shamim Momin http://www.ici-exhibitions.org/archives/boys/boys.htm

Plus, Ryan has had a solo show at the Kemper Museum of Fine Art curated by Elizabeth Dunbar http://www.kemperart.org/exhibits/RyanHumphreyessay06.asp

Here's a few questions we got to ask Ryan about his generous donation. (photo #1, Ryan Humphrey, Ax, 2008, Wood, steel, and enamel, 36 x 7x 1.5")

Q : Tell me a bit about your donation ?

The axe is painted to look like Eddie Van Halen's guitar.  This technique of layering tape and spray paint is a sort of personal folk art that he came up so that he would stand out on stage. 

 I see this technique as being visually symbolic for the will and desire to be outstanding and innovative. I do a couple of objects every year or so with this pattern, the same way Duchamp would release a couple of readymade's every year.

Q : Why did you make this Ax ?

I've done everything from a rotary phone, to a Saarinen chair, to a BMW hood.  I chose the axe for several reasons.  Firstly, guitars are often called axes, secondly I like that it is utilitarian tool that has nothing to do with music but still alludes to a particular lifestyle and thirdly it can be seen as potentially violent. Thousands of law enforcement agents die each year at the hands Marijuana drug cartels in Mexico.  At least if it were legalized it could be regulated.  Think of it as a prop from a Quentin Tarentino film.

Thanks Ryan for such a thoughtful donation.. perfect for DPA! And certainly it's a work of art that any fireman or  ax murderer collector would be proud to have in their collection.


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I saw his work years ago in the Feuer windows on 10th and was impressed with it then. Glad to see he's got a show coming up.

I see the key to your connoiseurship is whether the artist is named Ryan. :-)

This piece intrigues me in the sense that an axe has many uses;murder,chopping,survival.so many uses and as i see it the accessibility of the axe is blinded by the geometric paint.the tool/pieces use is still there as it hangs in a gallery setting.

Nice piece!


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