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February 24, 2005

{     Pooptooth Print - Ryan Greis     }    

Appalachia spawns a special kind of ugly. Maybe it's the supposed lack of grooming and hygeine, or perhaps the "keep it in the family" stereotype holds a bit too true: Whatever the reason, it is an undeniable fact that the denizens of this dark rural heart of America posess some of the most amazingly distorted features known to man. These folks are far from self-concious, and when you grow up immersed in and surrounded by their culture you eventually gain an appreciation for it, and the grotesque inevitably becomes beautiful. Ryan Greis has made a fascinating study of this phenomenon. His Pooptooth series draws upon experiences gathered growing up in the backwoods of Kentucky, combining equal parts stereotype, rural mythology and real-life ugly into brilliantly exaggerated portraits and paintings. Utilizing a multi-layered approach combining watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and oils he is able to bring these characters to shockingly vivid life. Mr. Greis is now offering one of his most striking pieces as a limited-edition print, signed and numbered, printed on 11" x 17" gloss paper. It's a wonderful opportunity to see the incredible and painstaking amount of detail that goes into his pieces up close and personal. I had the opportunity to interview Ryan briefly, and having grown up in neigboring West Virginia, I found in him a true kindred spirit. Coming of age in the thick of hellbent and holler-bound Appalachia grants you a perspective that just can't be acquired elsewhere in life, and Ryan has embraced that. His considerable talents have found their muse, and the results are astounding. You can see the Pooptooth series of paintings online at Ryan's website (linked below), and I reccomend snagging a print while they're still available. You can also read our interview, from the March/April edition of NYArts Magazine, by either picking up a copy (in galleries and newstands internationally) or by clicking on the link below. Be on the lookout for a much more involved interview appearing right here on Crown Dozen in the near future.

     » ryangreis.com
     » NYArts Magazine Backwoods Kind of Beautiful interview

Comments

Self loathing.

Posted by: Doug Thacker at March 8, 2005 7:26 AM
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