East Londoner RYCA, whose real name is Ryan Callanan, is a part of the London-based art team Scrawl Collective. He finished art school in 2002 with an emphasis on model making and 3D design.
Movies, pop art, and the Renaissance are all sources of inspiration. His work takes iconic images from the past and puts them into new context, such as “War Skull,” a silk screen print of a ponderous skull hearkening back to Hamlet’s “Poor Yorick” speech, yet with the likeness of the Terminator in metal with red eyes. He was inspired to create his first print “Ona Islam” (a riff on the “Mona Lisa” covered in a burka) after visiting Santa’s Ghetto, an acclaimed 2006 exhibition in London.
He revels in the pop cultural pastiche inspired by the street art he observed while working as a sign maker outside of a pub in London. These 3D signs can be seen all over the city today. His background in sign manufacturing and model making has helped him develop an aesthetic that is distinctly his own. RYCA infuses new and old, not only into his subject matter, but also into the production by experimenting with CNC engineering and industrial processes.
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