Ryan Sluggett in Galleries West Magazine
Galleries West Magazine
Published on-line May 15, 2019
New paintings from Los Angeles reflect the city’s glamour, peril and glaring materialism.
Calgary-born artist Ryan Sluggett’s exhibition, Lifestyle Battles, makes me think of Ozzy Osbourne’s crazy train. But in this case, the rails lead to Sluggett’s new life in Los Angeles, with its sharks and shoes and shopping sprees. His wildly over-the-top paintings, both serious and flippant, make his show at the TrépanierBaer Gallery in Calgary, a must see. Just remember to grab your selfie stick.
Sluggett moved to California in 2009 to attend UCLA after graduating from what’s now the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary. His latest works, based on his experiences in L.A., are cleverly crafted and mesmerizingly beautiful.
He combines his characteristic gestural line with a mashup of painting techniques in oil, gouache and enamel on sheets of aluminum, both large and small. Narratively, his work plays on his observations of everyday life in a hectic city that is perilous, glamorous and glaringly materialistic. His paintings are all these things too.
Anyone familiar with painting knows to apply oil over water-based paints, never the reverse. But Sluggett plays with the rules. He begins each work with thick, expressive brushstrokes of oil paint. Once it has dried, he outlines both abstracted and recognizable forms by carving lines into the aluminum. It’s brazen and contrarian.
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Glossy Credit, 2019
Oil, enamel, gouache on aluminum
60” x 96″