Ryan Michael Ford
Walk me through your process. How do your paintings start? Do they originate from sketches? Dreams? Or do begin directly on the canvas?
Yes, very loose sketches. Chalk color studies. And then usually paint directly on canvas without sketching out first. But my latest series i’ve been drawing directly on canvas first cause it involves some sacred geometry and gold leaf.
Can you talk a bit about the theme of absurdity in your work, and your relationship to surrealism?
I guess rapper Chilly Gonzalez said it best in one of his songs, ‘I can’t kill the will to be an imbe-cile.”
What artists is your work most in dialogue with?
The Hilma af Klint show at the Gugenheim impacted me very deeply and in a profound way. Pardon the basketball expression but I feel like she threw an alley-oop from the late 1800’s that took over 100 years to get to us in our greatest time of need. A time when human beings need deep love, healing and compassion. There was a young 15 year old Indian boy who once said, ‘the earth doesn’t need saving, people need saving.’ It’s absolutely true, once human beings alter their focus every second of every day to love and gratitude towards everything and everybody the world will change in the blink of an eye. It’s time for people to wake up to this wisdom.
What do you want viewers to take away from your paintings?
It used to be I wanted to make people laugh, feel lighter, or jus feel good. I came from a more fuzz bucket goofball corner. With the work i’m making now I still want people to feel good but i’d also like to assist in a deep internal shift towards spiritual awareness. A recognition of the sacred, God, balance, centeredness, and community. And maybe help people reflect on how powerful they are as a divine children. We always have Angels and spirit guides that are with us that are always willing to listen and help us when we’re in need.
Your newest paintings are significantly more abstract. Can you talk about this new direction in your work?
I wouldn’t call my newest series abstract. Abstract sounds like distortion or noise to me. These new paintings are very centered and soft. They are friendly and personable. I’m not saying abstract paintings can’t have those qualities but I wouldn’t use that word to describe my work. In the new series I was inspired by Hilma’s show but at the same time I was reading a book called, ‘Lessons from 12 Arch Angels,’ by Belinda Womack. Along with valuable spiritual information this book contains many intermittent color meditations. Belinda wrote these beautiful poetic meditations inspired by her conversations with Angels. This book provided a new reading experience for me because it’s not a book you can jus push through and read but it’s a book one feels too. I started practicing the color meditations and they took me to some very calm inner spaces. I’m an inner astronaut these days. Her writings deeply impacted me and I decided to do a painting series based on them.
Is there anything you want people to know about your work that we haven't talked about?
Let’s all keep spreading love and light to one another and refocusing our attention to gratitude every moment of every day to keep raising the consciousness of this planet. Watch the sky Peace and love to all.