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.
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.
The artist, who will be a part of Strange Cities: Athens–a group show that will travel to Athens and be exhibited here at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York, is currently working on a concept inspired by the classic Greek architecture, especially Parthenon’s architectural ratio. Film stills for this project will be replaced by rulers stacked at regular increments.
For more information you can visit his website: http://www.ryanrusso.com