Ryan McMenamy (b.1973 Brockton, MA) attended the Parson’s School of Design, where he obtained his BFA (1991). Since that time he has worked professionally in the heart of the fashion industry as an illustrator for such names as Calvin Klein, Bergdorf Goodman, V Mann, and Hennes & Mauritz to mention a few.
There is a razor thin, and blurred line which defines the difference between illustration and fine art. McMenamy is the alchemist of artists who bridges that divide with works of sophisticated beauty. The artist’s commitment to perceptual art, and his close relationship to illustration contribute to his ability to create works of art which have a uniqueness within an ordinary world. As an artist, he understands that “less is more, and directs his talents on compositions of pared down scenes which seduce the viewer with the beauty of line, pattern, color, and the relationship of both the positive and negative space. The artist states: “One can always find the depth, beauty and a certain profoundness in the simplest of objects or scenes. I find myself overwhelmed at times.”
His subjects are varied, and (with a background in fashion), it is natural that many of his compositions would include the figure. At times they appear ambiguous in their settings, and rely more upon the viewer for his or her own interpretation. He uses color judiciously, and flattens planes for visual interest and impact. The strength of his work rests in his ability to give psychological dimension and theatrical panache to that which would typically be rendered in a more complex manner. Throughout his work there is an aesthetic balance between the elements of design that ensures that no one dominates. The result is a quiet tension in which all the elements create a sort of vibrating harmony. A hallmark of his work, is the tranquil feeling to his compositions, and the desire to know more from the viewer.
McMenamy’s work continues to gain attention both in the commercial, as well as the fine art world. The artist divides his time between a studio in both New York, and the Berkshires.
The Blue Zone (mixed-media on panel) 24 x 30
Writer’s Block (mixed-media on panel) 18 x 24
Wondering Why (mixed-media on panel) 24 x 30
Unstoppable (mixed-media on panel) 24 x 30
Portuguese Fisherman (mixed-media on panel) 9 x 12