Ryan Mrozowski gathers seemingly unrelated imagery to propose all kinds of strange scenarios. In his paintings we see that mysterious events are happening, that something is happening, but we don’t quite know what and we cannot / have no means to explain it. To appreciate them, we must accept the discomfort their strangeness and our condition of unknowing imposes. “Realities collapse in tableau after tableau. The carnivalesque meets the athletic, which collides with the academic. Gravity competes against the absurd.” (Leah Ollman, 2008)
Ryan presents theatrical spaces filled with rituals, sporting events, reenactments, and public gatherings. He attempts to examine how history is created, through the mutation of symbolism and the abstracting of narrative. The incongruous combination of objects and figures presented to these painted audiences juxtapose the profound and the absurd, the familiar and the uncanny. The work is an attempt to examine the gaps in our collected /ive knowledge, creating a personal iconography that speaks to a universal condition. At the same time, the paintings show the level to which spectacle, performance, and voyeurism have permeated contemporary life.