Ryan O’Malley, Viktor, 2020, Reduction Woodcut, 23″ x 19″
Ryan O’Malley is an artist, educator, and event organizer based in Corpus Christi, Texas. He works in a variety of media with focus on the expansive realm of printmaking. His work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions, publications, and portfolios. That’s the official version. The unofficial version is he is one of the kindest and most supportive folks in the print community! He is also technically astute, as you can tell from his work.
O’Malley serves as Professor of Art and Graduate Coordinator at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. He describes himself as a chameleon, exploring the many approaches to printmaking–mezzotint, woodcut, stencil, screen printing–and their connection points, as a way to challenge himself as an educator. He concedes that not all of his students will go on to become artists but if they can learn a facility for tools and patience, they can apply that learning to anything they attempt in life.
His love of people and process is explored in his ongoing body of work Shapeshifter. Transmuting traditional and technology-driven techniques, O’Malley contrasts their static and dynamic properties and navigates the spaces between precision and imperfection; between the ephemeral, and perpetual.
O’Malley’s work chosen for the 5×5 exhibition began years ago as a series of over 200 spray paint stencil portraits of friends, family and mentors. He later transferred those images onto wood blocks, melding the features of 5-6 individuals to create images that are complex, detailed and totemic. Each layer of carving and printing is a meditation, a transference of physical and emotional energy from one state to another.
Ryan O’Malley, El J-Rodorado, 2018, Reduction Woodcut, 18″ x 23″
O’Malley recently did an IG takeover for PrintAustin and he posted the video as part of that takeover. It’s a definite must see! It shows his process for his Shapeshifter series.
We’d be remiss to not include this video as well–the process of intaglio printing from soup to nuts. It also shows O’Malley’s talent in another printmaking technique.
The 5×5 in-person exhibition at Ivester Contemporary recently closed, but you can see it online via the link below.
PrintAustin is an artist-led nonprofit working with local venues and artists to showcase traditional and contemporary approaches in printmaking. Co-founded in 2013 by Austin artists Cathy Savage and Elvia Perrin, they produced their organization’s first month-long festival in 2014 from January 15 through February 15. PrintAustin has grown to include over 60 print-focused events serving thousands of audience members annually, with returning and new participants each year. Our mission is to share our enthusiasm for printmaking by helping galleries, universities, and artists curate, exhibit, and promote works on paper.
In partnership with Ivester Contemporary, PrintAustin’s 2nd annual online juried exhibition, The 5×5, is juried by Caitlin Clay, Curator of Exhibitions at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. This virtual exhibition–with an in-person element at Ivester–showcases five works by five contemporary artists from the United States, Mexico, and Poland, giving us a broad survey of printmaking happening across the globe.
Ivester Contemporary is an Austin-based contemporary fine art gallery committed to connecting people with leading local and regional artists and ideas. Rotating exhibitions are focused on creating a context for contemplation, deepening appreciation for the visual arts, and facilitating a dialog between the artist and their viewers. Ivester Contemporary is located within the Canopy Creative Complex in East Austin, a central hub for artists, gallerists, and other creative types.
Studio Noize Podcast
Studio Noize is a weekly art podcast highlighting artists and creators of the diaspora. Artists and printmakers Jamaal Barber and Jasmine Williams talk with other black artists about their art processes and their lives. They engage with painters, curators, singers, dancers, art directors, collectors, and guests of all disciplines. Studio Noize’s creative conversations motivate and inspire while archiving the voices of contemporary black artists. Listen to new episodes every Tuesday on studionoizepodcast.com.