Artist Interview: Ryan De La Hoz

Ryan De La Hoz creates some really amazing drawings. Skeleton gloves, top hats, ladders to nowhere, and dripping piles of unknown liquids — you’re sure to see the originality in Ryan’s work.

Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I am twenty four. I had a big ball of positive energy as a child and I am trying to keep that rolling (and bouncing) until I am ninety-nine.

What’s it like living in San Francisco?

San Francisco is pretty. People don’t show up to events until 10 pm. I like San Francisco because it feels like a large city with plenty of culture and things to do but it is actually quite small. On a social level it often has a hometown feel. A collective of about 14 artists have a large space in the Mission District where they let me stay when I want and I am beyond lucky for that.

Has making art always been a part of your life?

Yes! I have the typical 80’s-90’s kid story. I would draw Magneto, the Ninja Turtles, Batman, Bucky O’ Hare, The Maxx, Spawn, and Captain America constantly. I only became “serious” about art as far as exhibiting-in the last 4 or 5 years.

What materials do you use to create your pieces?

Ink, paper, and an X-acto knife. All the pieces are drawings. More specifically I suppose they are “ink on cut paper, mounted to paper” I am going to take the dive into working with gouache soon. It has intimidated me for years so it is time to mess with it a bit.

What’s your creative process like?

I am not one of those people who can “feel a piece out” while creating it. Sometimes I wish I was. I plan out everything beforehand and I know exactly what I want by the time I start. I draw a thumbnail and I get to it. Lately I have been trying to create pieces that will be enhanced by their environment in a gallery space. Installation is equally important to me as far as the presentation of my work.

Tell me about the objects seen in your work. What’s the meaning behind them?

The greatest interpretations of my work have been by the public and not me, however I do have pretty solid meaning attached to much of the elements. The skeleton gloves that are strewn around the environments represent remains/ artifacts. I find them to be an interesting way for me to show a prior existence. I am obsessed with stark black platforms and ladders because I feel that they can represent abandoned progress or a means for escape and freedom from oppression. The magician and sorcerer hats come from the place in me that adores magic and fantastical elements. I think about hope, loss, isolation, freedom, the destruction of natural resources, clairvoyance, myth, magic, mysticism…and so much more. I just try and present my thoughts in a way that allows the viewer to attach their own meaning.

How long does a typical piece of yours take to complete?

Most of the work goes into the pre planning of thumbnail sketches so once I get going I would say 2 – 6 hours depending on size.

Describe some of the shows you’ve been in!

I love curating shows and exhibiting as an artist. Can I be super cheesy and say that setting up shows and installations is sometimes the only thing that makes sense to me in this crazy world? As a curator I love setting up a show with a batch of artists that I am proud of. As an artist I love when I have the room to go an extra mile with an installation. Being able to travel and meet people because of a big show is amazing. There are a lot of big genuine hearts in the art world. Art shows are fun.

Talk to me about the recent zine you made.

Making that zine was a lot of fun! I am working on Residual Energy II right now. For the first issue I had two photographers contribute content. Residual Energy will be an ongoing project. I hope to have many issues published by the time I am ninety-nine.The key with the Residual Energy zine is FUN, nothing too serious. Being able to work with new guest artists each and every time makes me excited for the issues to come.

Where did the name Residual Energy come from?

Residual Energy is a title and concept that I have been exploring since October 2008. As a definition is has to do with energy that remains after a person or object has left. In my work I have been loosely exploring the concept of what can stay behind after a person or society has vacated and or perished. As far as the Residual Energy zine series goes, it is just a title that has meaning to me- and the zines are a way of combining recent works, photographs, and other dorky stuff.

Where do you find inspiration?

So many places – all the time. I am inspired by different types of trees, my two young brothers and the men they are becoming, old video game arcade cabinet art / pinball machine graphics, Dinosaurs Attack! Trading Cards (seriously, Google those) Tove Jansson, Henry Darger, Daniel Johnston-I could go on and on…

Who are some of your favourite artists?

Ryan Travis Christian. This guy lives in Chicago. Hazy, trippy, searing large scale graphite goodness. He will be exhibiting in museums by the time I am ninety-nine. Mark my words.

Brion Nuda Rosch. I really like the way this man thinks about art. He is a true visual communicator.

Marci Washington. Mesmerizing large scale gouache works.

Matthew Feyld. Unmistakable, clean work from Saskatoon, SK

Plans for the rest of 2010?

I am going to be featured in the April issue of FLJ Magazine in Tokyo, Japan.

New Accident Gallery in Komatsu, Japan will be showing a set of my new drawings.

Residual Energy II zine release ! ! with special contributors.

I am very excited to fly to Portland for the first time to install a show at Together Gallery April 29th with Deth P. Sun, Ryan Bubnis, and Jonathan Edelhuber.

There are more plans, they can be seen here.

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