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Artist Ryan Russo Turns VHS Films Into a Collage

Artist Ryan Russo Turns VHS Films Into a Collage

Vertigo, Death Becomes Her, or Magnolia… Iconic films from Hollywood’s different eras have further significance for the Brooklyn based artist Ryan Russo. He applies VHS film tapes of these classics along with others such as Requiem for a Dream, Altered States and Mallrats onto the canvas, creating optically enthralling abstract depictions.

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“North by Northwest”, Ryan Russo.

Unlike films that have each image on the surface of the tape, VHS films do not reveal their content; however, Russo ties contextual bonds between the work and the related films turning VHS films into a collage. For Untitled (Vertigo), he assembles spiral compositions, referencing to the film’s infamous nightmare scene or for Untitled (Magnolia) he arranges his tapes scattered and disconnected, reminiscing the equally dispersed timeline the film’s plot had.

This type of manipulation of media and visual culture is no stranger to Russo, who, in his early works, repurposed luxury good ads and flyers from discounts stores in his collages to capture the rapidly changing face of his Brooklyn neighborhood.

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“Blade Runner”, Ryan Russo.

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“PTA”, Ryan Russo.

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“Goldeneye”, Ryan Russo.

Don’t forget to check out “Ryan Russo: Sound and Vision” at Galerie Gris opening reception Saturday, August 6, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.


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Osman Can Yerebakan is an independent art writer and curator based in New York. Osman, who holds a BA in Comparative Literature and an MA in Art Management, contributes to various online and printed publications with his perspective on contemporary art and curates exhibitions around NYC.

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