Ryczek - Process 1
University of Michigan
Mike Ryczek Exhibition Publications Project
Intro, research, proposal, and early development.
You are to design a complete print publications system for an exhibition. Your charge is to provide solutions to publications materials for an exhibition about an artist, designer, architect or object. You have the distinct opportunity to develop an appropriate and communicative visual language that is distinct and can be freely interpreted and can be applied to various situations in vibrant and surprising ways. The solutions must be recognizable and memorable. Remember that these materials become lasting documents of an event and are often consulted by researchers interested in the subject.
Given the personally expressive nature of a publications system created for an artist or designer, I want to make sure that I can be in close communication with the person I choose to represent. Luckily, I had the chance to meet an artist over the summer who’s work I connected with (which has grown more and more rare as I venture deeper into the world of design). Mike Ryczek creates visceral disruptions of reality, drawing on his nostalgia and anxiety to create environments that are both cathartic and surreal. His work references realism and employs principles of nature, but the imagery he creates is ultimately imagined and far from conceivable. Mike’s process of deconstruction and reconstruction drew my initial attention, but as I experienced more of his work my focus shifted to the instinctual emotional reactions that his paintings evoke. My thought is that the unique relationships between nature and Mike’s surrealist paintings can transform off-canvas environments in the ways that they do on-canvas. Ideally, publications carrying his work will amplify the works’ emotional energy into the spaces around them.
As I study Mike’s work and formulate a project proposal, I am considering the following questions. To the right are some initial thoughts from my notes.
What do I want this project to do?
Why is it important that it does that?
How is it going to do that?
Looking more broadly at Mike’s work, I have noticed three major themes that seem like they might be applicable to installation in different kinds of public settings: Natural or environmental works, large scale architectural works, and intimate interior works.
In order to clarify my own vision of what should come of this project, I need to know who I am speaking to and what I need to sound like. I asked Mike to tell me a bit about the personalities, interests, and backgrounds of people that interact with his work on a regular basis. I also conducted some word association under various categories in an attempt to define my messaging goals with text.