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Ryan Bush

Click here for exhibition catalog

      Memoria                                           Multiple Visions

    

Click on the images above to see more photographs from each series

For price and availability, please contact the gallery (415) 732-0300   info@modernbook.com


About Ryan Bush

Ryan has been making fine-art photography for more than 16 years, during which time he has honed his abstract vision focusing on finding the mysteries hidden in everyday objects, and the sacred hidden in the mundane.

His abstract photographs are influenced by his background in a number of other areas. He received his BA in Linguistics and Russian from Swarthmore College in 1995, got his PhD in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz in 2000, and speaks eight languages. Music is a big source of insipiration for him, as he plays the flute and has a strong interest in classical music. He is also keenly interested in the relationship between photography and other media such as painting and drawing.

Ryan's work has been shown nationally and internationally through solo and group exhibitions, as well as in print publications, and is featured in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Stanford Medical Center, and the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. His work has received a number of awards, including Critical Mass Top 50 (2009). Ryan lives in Los Gatos, California.


Memoria series

Winter strips the trees down to their innermost, leaving the bare branches stretched out in patient acceptance. They lie in wait, as we must if we enter a difficult wintertime of the soul, so leaves can burst forth once more when the time is right. In the meantime, the trees are comforted by the memory of summers past and by visions of springs yet to come. The tiny twigs still clutch the last few precious leaves of autumn as they sift the air for tidings of loved ones.

The trees in these photographs are from places that carry many memories for Ryan, near where he lives in the Santa Cruz mountains, and near where he grew up in Connecticut. Just as memories are built up over time, forming complex webs of repetition and reinterpretation, the photographs in this series are built up from multiple exposures. Since his digital Hasselblad camera does not have the built-in ability to capture multiple exposures, he had to create his own method by leaving the shutter open for a long time and uncovering the lens for each exposure. Since he is never sure quite what the result will be, the process is full of surprises and serendipity, just like the process of forming and finding memories.

The images themselves are varied, just like our memories. Some are light and ethereal, while others are dark and mysterious. Some are clearly recognizable as trees, while others are more abstract, further removed from the original by all the built-up layers. Overall, Ryan seeks a contemplative and mysterious feeling in these images, as if from a secret, misty forest that lies partway between this world and another. The simple geometric compositions contrast with the endless complexity of the branches receding into the distance. Various infuences for this series include looping music by Steve Reich and Zoe Keating, fractal imagery, and works by Richard Diebenkorn, Cy Twombly, and Jackson Pollack.

The images are captured using a digital medium-format Hasselblad camera, and printed at 40” x 40” and 20” x 20” as archival pigment prints. Ryan uses a highly-textured paper and floats the prints in the frames, creating end results that resemble drawings, blurring the line between our external and internal realities, between this world and the world of our memories.


Multiple Visions series

This series features multiple exposure photographs of trees, using color and a high degree of abstraction to capture the feeling of seeing trees in various seasons. In winter, the bare branches are silhouetted against the bright blue sky, creating a jewel-toned mosaic. In spring the blossoms burst forth in a cloud of pink petals, wreathed in the buzzing of honey bees and the heady fragance of the flowers. And in summer, a kaleidoscope of green leaves dances overhead, graced with bright sunlight shining through.

The name of this series, Multiple Visions refers not just to the technique of multiple exposures used in the photographs, but also to the various ways of seeing. Beyond our ordinary way of everyday seeing(when we look at a tree, normally our brain just tunes it out, or thinks  Oh, that s a pretty tree ), there is also a deeper way of seeing that connects to the world of creative imagination. This type of seeing is what we all do in our dreams at night, as well as being how people see visions or flashes of inspiration. With this type of seeing, you can see the music and dance of the trees, their hidden mysteries, and their infinite complexity.

Like the Memoria series, the multiple exposures are all combined in-camera, rather than using Photoshop. Since you're never sure quite what the result will be, the process is full of surprises and serendipity, just like when you see a dream or a vision. The images are printed at 60 x 60 , 40 x 40 and 20 x 20 as archival pigment prints. Ryan uses the highly-textured Hahnemuehle  William Turner paper and float the prints in the frames, creating end results that resemble drawings, blurring the line between our external and internal realities, between this world and the world of our dreams and visions.

 

 
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