Ryan Tempro

Self Portraits
Photo Transfer
ID Number: 0180

“My work is in reference to screens and flatness. Growing up surrounded by technology with a father who works with computers, I am fascinated in pixelated fragmentation and repetition. Technology’s fast-paced pursuit of higher definition screen resolutions leaves me interested in abstraction and generalization.

I find one’s ability to recognize and interpret the information given to them in abstract forms astounding. Through the act of painting and printmaking, I physically pixelate and abstract photographs by applying and subsequently manipulating a grid. Each square is painted individually and often colors vary slightly from square to square, similar to the visual effect of enlarged pixelated images. Rows and columns form the structure of my paintings; the orientation of each square is altered depending on the one that precedes it. Through the use of paint, I am able to distance myself from, and play off of, the transitory nature of electronic technology by working with a tactual and permanent medium. 

The interaction of how the viewer tries to interpret the information given to them in my work drives me to abstract forms. I find inspiration in artists such as Chuck Close and Nick Leopard, whose work explores abstracting human forms through simplified generalizations. My concentration on the figure stems from the pervasiveness of social media; everyone has a digital identity. Through my large self-portraits, I am able to explore the limitations of how abstract a portrait of myself can become, while still being recognizable as a familiar face.”