Artist Statement/Bio

I am an avid traveler and have journeyed around the world.  The range of international experiences I have accumulated over the years has helped shape my comprehensive worldview and broaden my perspective both as a citizen of the world and as an artist. A few of my greatest adventures include: sailing the Nile river; trekking in the Himalayas and Andes; and hitch hiking across Australia.  Exposure to various native art forms during my travels has had a strong influence on my work.

I frequently exhibit in the New Orleans area and organize community art projects throughout the year.  My work can be found in several galleries, museums, and private collections.  I have also created successful public art projects for both the cities of New Orleans, Louisiana and Denver, Colorado.

I’m interested in creating art that explores post-modern identity, the essence of language, consumer culture, entertainment, and socio-political issues. I have a dark, satirical sense of humor and a thick subversive streak that tends to find its way into my creations.   In my work, as well as in my life, I’m interested in exploring the intersection between the sacred and the profane.

I create work in a wide range of 2D and 3D media.  Many of my pieces incorporate DIY (Do It Yourself) electronics and experimental interactive components.  I tend towards using heavy contrast, bright colors, and intricately decorated surfaces in all of my work regardless of medium.  My most successful work violates the boundaries between kitsch, craft and “Fine” art, and is full of symbolic ritual and psychological imagery.

The art objects I create appear playful and humorous at first.  But as viewers looks deeper they realize that my art is full of double meanings, twisted games, dirty jokes, and challenging social, political, and personal implications.  By using glossy, jewel-like surfaces and whimsical imagery I charm viewers and draw them into my narrative… where they discover that underneath the surface glitz are deeper themes of raging dissatisfaction with consumer culture and the status quo.

My work is like cosmic candy that is full of the razor blades of truth.

-Ryan S Ballard


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