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#cars#consumerism#fruit#Kathleen Ryan#sculpture

Glitzy Rotting Fruit and Rusted Automobiles by Kathleen Ryan Consider the Tensions of American Consumerism

March 6, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a sculpture of cherries and citrus wedge, covered in gemstones that look like mold

“Deluxe” (2023), agate, jasper, serpentine, garnet, lapis lazuli, smoky quartz, quartz, labradorite, tektite, aventurine, snowflake obsidian, onyx, tiger eye, turquoise, marble, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, wood, Datsun 1200 trunk, 53 x 45 x 73.5 inches. All photos by Lance Brewer, courtesy of the artist and François Ghebaly Gallery, shared with permission

In Beachcomber, artist Kathleen Ryan (previously) continues her inquiries into consumption and the unsightly remnants of American life. The solo exhibition, on view now at François Ghebaly in Los Angeles, brings together Ryan’s latest works that explore the tension between revulsion and delight, all imbued with a quintessentially California ethos.

Skewered fruits, beach umbrellas, and automotive parts exemplify this relationship between the beautiful and the grotesque through the artist’s signature gemstone treatment. Cobwebs of glimmering quartz crystal tether one side of a rusted Dodge trunk to the other, while precious materials like agate, lapis lazuli, and turquoise become the rotting patches of otherwise supple fare. Each of the sculptures references seaside objects and nostalgic coastal travel, whether through fruit garnishes as in “Deluxe” or the clam-shell folded Volkswagon trunks in “Generator VII.”

Created at life-size or larger, Ryan’s works question the rampant consumerism and a generalized sense of gluttony that pervades much of American sensibilities. She explores kitsch as it relates to class, evoking aspects of suburban life like backyard barbeques and the reverence of cars, road trips, and the wide expanses visible from open highways.

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see Beachbomber through March 25. Otherwise, find more from Ryan on her site and Instagram.

A photo of a rusted car trunks with glitzy cobwebs in the center

“Generator VIII” (2023), quartz crystal, silver-plated stainless steel cable, silver crimps, steel, automotive paint, Dodge trunks, 38 x 32 x 41.5 inches

Detail photo of a sculpture of cherries and citrus wedge, covered in gemstones that look like mold

Detail of “Screwdriver” (2023), onyx, citrine, rhodonite, garnet, agate, tektite, lava rock, turquoise, aquamarine, serpentine, magnesite, amazonite, black tourmaline, jasper, prehnite, ruby in zoisite, marble, amber, labradorite, smoky quartz, quartz, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, aluminum umbrella, 68’ AMC Javelin trunk, 77 x 88 x 107 inches

A detail photo of arusted car trunk with glitzy cobwebs in the center

Detail of “Generator VII” (2023), quartz crystal, silver-plated stainless steel cable, silver crimps, steel, Volkswagen trunks, 38 x 33 x 32 inches

A photo of a sculpture of cherries and citrus wedge, covered in gemstones that look like mold. A beach umbrella skewers the fruit and a woman stands nearby

“Screwdriver” (2023), onyx, citrine, rhodonite, garnet, agate, tektite, lava rock, turquoise, aquamarine, serpentine, magnesite, amazonite, black tourmaline, jasper, prehnite, ruby in zoisite, marble, amber, labradorite, smoky quartz, quartz, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, aluminum umbrella, 68’ AMC Javelin trunk, 77 x 88 x 107 inches

Two photos of rusted car trunks with glitzy cobwebs in the center

“Generator VII” (2023), quartz crystal, silver-plated stainless steel cable, silver crimps, steel, Volkswagen trunks, 38 x 33 x 32 inches

A photo of a sculpture of cherries and citrus wedge, covered in gemstones that look like mold

Detail of “Screwdriver” (2023), onyx, citrine, rhodonite, garnet, agate, tektite, lava rock, turquoise, aquamarine, serpentine, magnesite, amazonite, black tourmaline, jasper, prehnite, ruby in zoisite, marble, amber, labradorite, smoky quartz, quartz, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, aluminum umbrella, 68’ AMC Javelin trunk, 77 x 88 x 107 inches

A photo of a sculpture of cherries and citrus wedge, covered in gemstones that look like mold

Detail of “Screwdriver” (2023), onyx, citrine, rhodonite, garnet, agate, tektite, lava rock, turquoise, aquamarine, serpentine, magnesite, amazonite, black tourmaline, jasper, prehnite, ruby in zoisite, marble, amber, labradorite, smoky quartz, quartz, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, aluminum umbrella, 68’ AMC Javelin trunk, 77 x 88 x 107 inches

#cars#consumerism#fruit#Kathleen Ryan#sculpture

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