Ryczek - Related Material 2
University of Michigan
Mike Ryczek Exhibition Publications Project
Artistic comparisons and inspirations.
I was showing Mike’s work to a friend who has found an interest in nostalgic art. He mentioned that Salvador Dali is one of his favorites, and I realized that I had not yet considered the similarities between Salvador and Mike. Asking about Dali led Mike on a tangent that revealed a lot about who Mike is as an artist and thinker.
Although different in style, Mike and Salvador share the thrill of creating imagined environments in a way that maintains a sense of reality. Mike also noted a connection between his and Salvador’s tendency to self-examine. This stuck out to me because of Mike use of art as an introspective practice that reveals “universal truths”.
“I've always been acutely self-obsessive and, often to a fault, relentlessly questioning of why I think a certain way, what drives me to action, and attempting to use this to draw out universal truths using art.”
An interesting point of admiration that Mike made was about Dali’s personality and creative drive. Speaking on Dali’s confidence in the concepts he communicated, Mike says that Dali was “so consumed by creativity that he was one with the work he created.” I loved hearing this because I can tell that Mike is also very close to his own work. It seems to me that artwork created as a result of the authentic interests and emotions of the artist can affect us more powerfully as viewers. In the exhibition catalog that I am constructing, I want to emphasize Mike’s thoughts more than technique or media. This might help the viewer to empathize with Mike and become more thoughtful while reading and looking.
Mike mentioned many other artists that he draws inspiration from, each more dark and sensual than the next. He could have gone on forever about these experts of vague surrealism, which was great for me as I began to understand his personal interests and perspective. He also showed me work that he made just after graduating, some of my favorites from that collection are shown below.
Although this dialogue may not lead to a tangible design difference, it more deeply immersed me into Mike’s mind and character. I believe that this will be visible in the way that I write about him and his work, and will make for a more genuine translation of his ideas. In exhibition design, I think that the intangible value of empathy lies in the ability to communicate someone else’s ideas in a way that is congruent in content and augmented with design.