Ryan Schneider's commanding paintings are not for the faint of heart. They're full of intense colors and emaciated figures and, in one notable case, a dead shark. Simultaneously, their graphic power and bold patterns establish alternate spaces of creeping unease. Send Me Through, his current show at Priska Juschka, in Chelsea, is his most ambitious project yet.
THIS IS WHAT IS LEFT BEHIND, 2009.
Schneider finished art school in Baltimore at 2002 and took the next logical step: he packed his truck, drove to New York, and moved into a tiny room in Chinatown. When he sold his first work in 2003, he said he faced a dilemma: "I could spend it all at Max Fish or rent a real studio." He took the Bushwick studio and has been there ever since.
In three solo shows at Priska Juschka, the 29-year-old Schneider has refined his style, ‘I've learned to paint in public.' He works from found photographs in the newspaper, which he draws before enlarging them on the canvas. But the finished work bears little resemblance to anything on the front page-it's much bolder and very much his own.
Schneider's sense of color is striking-his work is nothing if not vivid. Bonnard has been a major influence: "His colors are so unsettling. He uses otherworldly color to create mundane atmosphere." The same could be said of Schneider, whose work features houses, still lives, and interiors in colors that veer toward the fantastic: "There's hot pink in every one."
The centerpiece of a new show is sprawling painting of a dead shark on the beach being stared at by bathers. It's very a much a view to a kill, and the contrast between the sun-bleached setting and the beast is arresting.
How does the artist hold up after hanging a show? "Even though the audience completes the work, at first it still feels like an intrusion." Once the show is up he's fine, but after hanging it Schneider says he felt the effects: "I went to the studio and got drunk."
SEND ME THROUGH IS ON VIEW THROUGH FEBRUARY 20. PRISKA C. JUSCHKA FINE ART IS LOCATED AT 547 WEST 27 STREET, NEW YORK. RIGHT: PHOTO BY JEREMY SIGLER