Nudie playing cards and pole-twisting dancers doused in blacklight paint? It’s all in a night’s work for New York artist Ryan McGinness.
The international art darling just wrapped up an action-packed month in Los Angeles, where he painted two major murals and pimped his impressive body of work at seven locations—including a pop-up strip club at the Standard. Now it’s on to San Diego, where he’ll leave his semipermanent mark on the 130-by-30 back wall of La Jolla’s Hotel Parisi this summer.
It’s a massive coup for Murals of La Jolla, a project that’s putting up wall art all over town (no word yet on the exact duration, but the outdoor works will be on display for at least a couple of years). McGinness’ huge triptych, an eye-popping horizontal collage of simplistic, Picasso-esque female figures in fluorescent colors against a velvety black background, belongs to the artist’s ongoing Women series.
At West Hollywood’s Prism Gallery, McGinness showed Trophies, a collection of gorgeous, gold-painted sculptures in which abstracted female forms twist and tangle on stands. “I thought it was perfect for L.A.,” says McGinness. “Trophy wives are won. They are bright and sparkly. You put them on a pedestal. Every possible meaning that you can project on trophies as they relate to women is there.”
Meanwhile, at the Standard (he erected murals at both of the hotel’s L.A. locations), McGinness debuted his Blacklight Nudie Cards, an open-edition novelty deck based on his Women: The Blacklight Paintings. (Only $35, in case you thought owning a McGinness was forever out of reach.)
“If you’re expecting to see racy, naked women you’ll be disappointed,” he laughs. “They’re just simple drawings of women that glow under black light.”
Down in San Diego, the mural is just the start. In September 2012, McGinness will return for a solo show called Women Adorned at Quint Gallery (quintgallery.com), where he’s shown a few times since owner Mark Quint spied his work on a trip to New York in 2001.
“This series will feature women that are heavily tattooed or pierced,” says Quint Gallery Director Ben Strauss-Malcolm. “They’ll be based on nude models but will focus on the tattoos and piercings. It should be pretty interesting.”
Just another day in the life of Ryan.