Gretchen Ryan, a Los Angeles based artist and friend of David Lachapelle, had her opening last night, November 15, 2011 at the Fred Torres Collaborations gallery for her new solo exhibition “Cheers in Heaven”. The works on view include photographs, realist paintings and charcoal drawings.
Gretchen has worked with young girls before in her previous show all based in the subculture of child beauty pageants. Some of the girls Ryan has followed go on and do competitive cheerleading. One of the girls, a prominent lead in the works is Tinley, who was in attendance at the opening. Last April 2011, Ryan scheduled a photo session with said girls and in the process went with the whole idea of staging a full on production. Fog machines and cloud backdrops were brought in as these girls did their routines simulating a fantasy world of being in heaven.
Her forte has been painting and working off photographs but now she has moved on into the realm of art photography. The clouds are reminiscent of the sky in a Baroque painting as it marries into the whole idea of mythological nymphs and spirituality for this show. It is apparent that in showcasing this innocent beauty that the objectification of such sexual precociousness exist in said competitions. What does Gretchen Ryan bring to the table? She is fearless in exploring these ideas with the skill of making it alluring.
On view: November 15, 2011 through January 7. 2012
Fred Torres Collaborations. 527 W 29th Street. New York, NY 10001
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan