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CULTURE
Ryan McGinness: Aesthetic Comfort and No Sin/No Future
by Karen Day
on 07 January 2009
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It's likely that Ryan McGinness doesn't need the help of his benefactress and art-loving fashion designer Agnès b. anymore, but we have a feeling the skateboarder from Virginia Beach isn't the type to forget where he came from no matter how successful he is today, both in his stomping ground of New York and worldwide. While many critics compare his ability to blur the lines between high art and commercial graphics to that of Andy Warhol, seeing the complex layers that make up each work and his radical way of thinking about how to construct art, reminds us more of a modern Claude Monet.

One of the best ways to view the intricacies of McGinness' work is at the Cincinnati Art Museum, which is exhibiting his most recent project "Aesthetic Comfort" through 15 February 2009. A black light illuminates each of his massive works, creating an impressive vision of neon swirls and Spirograph-like shapes against a completely dark backdrop, with the light bringing out each individual graphic and layer. Close-up, ethereal symbols of skateboarders, trees, bunnies, skulls, umbrellas—you name it, it's there—emerge from the chaos. This micro view of the pieces makes a step back to see the sheer cohesiveness of the work an insight into the particular talent that is Ryan McGinness.

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Fortunately for those who won't be able to see his latest exhibition, his recent limited edition book, "No Sin/No Future" is available now, which provides an expansive collection of snapshots, sketches, and scans from his studio archives. Designed to give you a thorough insight into the thought process behind the artist, the book links the various mediums used by McGinness to show the connections between them and how he develops his unique style.

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