Photography printed on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Ryan Watson was born in Scarborough in the 1970s, the descendant of a landscape painter and a window display designer. His serious endeavors into painting began in the late 1990s and by the early 2000s was combining abstract expressionism with collage and text. In the mid-2010s, he began shooting urban and industrial images to replicate in his paintings. Soon these images became an artistic entity themselves. It was at this time that Watson began renting his photographic work for use in film sets he helped decorate. Gallery showings began shortly afterward including being selected for the OSA's current juried exhibition.
Watson Art + Photography is an ongoing series of digital photography focusing on abstract composition by the Toronto-based artist Ryan Watson. The process begins by using the camera to shoot real world urban and industrial images found throughout Toronto and its surrounding areas. The images are then uploaded to photo editing software where a process of experimentation is applied. Each image is subject to numerous manipulations, exaggerations and modifications available in the platform to transform the photograph from its realistic origin to something approaching an abstract expressionist painting.
Investigating forgotten locations and surfaces that are often considered blemishes or disregarded altogether, this series recontextualizes the post-industrial underside of the GTA. The project aims to extract the raw, tarnished appearance of a major North American city and transform it into art before gentrification sweeps through it entirely.