Hello! So this is the part where I am supposed to introduce myself, but I don't really want to bore you with the traditional bio, artist statement, list of past shows, education, yada yada yada. And if I'm being really honest, none of that stuff is really all that impressive anyways, so here's the stripped down version of me, and hopefully this will give you a little peek behind the curtain for what makes me tick:
I like to make things. I’m an artist, a designer, an illustrator, a maker, a creative and an entrepreneur, but not necessarily in that order. I like animals and being outside; I love my weird little family... and tacos. I'm the husband to my partner in crime and the father of one two-legged boy and two furry, four-legged girls. I love music from almost every genre and banging on things that make a lot of noise (some might call them drums). I like expensive whisky, cheap beer, and anything with peanut butter in it. I like old, vintage things, power tools, the smell of sawdust, digging in the dirt and random pop culture. I believe in science and reason, but I equally believe in magic and whimsy. I like to think high in the clouds as well as deep in the cracks. I love storytelling and meeting new, interesting people from different corners of the globe, and I love how food can bring us all together (pour one out for Anthony Bourdain). Born and raised in the South, I currently call Atlanta home, but I have found many amazing and wonderful places above the Mason-Dixon line and across the pond. I believe in equality for all, respecting your elders, and good old-fashioned hard work. I don't sit still very well and I tend to get lost in projects, which can be both a blessing and a curse. I wake up every single day with the urge to make something with my hands, and I get kind of grumpy when I don't. I have a lot of interests, a lot of inspiration, a mind cluttered with randomness, and I just want to get it all out as quickly as time allows or as fast as the paint can dry.
At the end of the day, I'm just a guy who doesn't really fit into any one box, with a busy head, a big heart and callused hands, trying to figure out how to tell a story through paint and pixels, hoping to leave the world a little better than I found it....making cool things and meeting cool people along the way.
Ryan L. Wagner
I work in a wide range of mediums and subject matters and experiment in a variety of materials, tools, techniques and surfaces. I incorporate a lot of realism into my work, but I also enjoy being very loose and gestural as a way to be more expressive. I love the tangible qualities of using traditional materials, but I use digital applications as well when I can't be tethered to an easel. Oil on wood is my preferred method for detailed brush work and fine detail, but I also like dabbling with stenciling and spray paint, big and loose strokes with acrylics, smears and splatters with a palette knife, and painting on found objects. Often times a juxtaposition of several of these applications show up in my work.
2020 ryanlwagner.com. All rights reserved.
I try to capture the essence of humanity with paint. I am fascinated by all of the unique features, tiny eccentricities and beautiful flaws that make us each individual but all the same: human.
I've been captivated by animals for as long as I can remember. As a young child I used to catch roly polys and put them in my pockets, loved driving past the chicken farm on the way to school every day, and kept frogs, snakes and lizards as pets. Nowadays I just have two dogs, but I still have that same child-like wonder when study animals, so I thoroughly enjoy painting them, both as portraiture as well as symbolic representations. Below are some of my favorite four-legged and winged friends I've made over the years.
I have been influenced by many different types of art and artists through the years, dabbling in various mediums and materials along the way. As a result I became interested in ways to explore how different materials interacted together, and then juxtaposing different styles and subject matters into single compositions that I call "Mash-ups". Using various elements and applications, it's been an interesting way to tell deeper, more meaningful stories while experimenting with different compositions, materials and themes.
2020 ryanlwagner.com. All rights reserved.
My Animal Alphabet series is my newest project and still in the works. I started with spelling out my son's name ROWAN and I have working through every letter since, slowly but surely. Besides the actual letters themselves (which is the typeface Eina 01, for anyone who is curious), everything is hand-drawn with a stylus on a tablet. Every element in each piece starts with the corresponding letter, even down to the name of the color of the letter itself. These are available as prints in various sizes in both paper and canvas and can be used to spell out words, names or initials, or can just stand alone independently. Prints are available here, and I will continue to add new letters as they are completed.
More coming soon!
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If you would like to discuss a commissioned piece or portrait, please fill out the contact form below, and I will reach out as soon as possible to set up a consultation. Please see the form below for pricing and size estimates.