Catherine Ryan: Man with Two Bears

Released Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Man with Two Bears, by Catherine Ryan.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Puppies Behind Bars.

Catherine Ryan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the California College of the Arts in 2000 and she currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the print:
Man with Two Bears is a charcoal drawing of a man posing with two dead bears. When I made this piece I had been looking through hundreds of photos of hunters with their kills and wanted to take this hunter and dead bears away from that context so that the oddness of their relationship could really be examined. I didn't want it to be gruesome or a blatant condemnation of trophy hunting, but rather a look at this very happy man and these beautiful, sad bears.

This is an ink jet print on Hahnemuhle German etching paper


What has inspired you recently?
I just got to spend a very inspiring month in Japan. Traveling always gets me into a different head space, and the way that Tokyo is such a melding of ultra modern technology and ancient culture really gave me a lot to look at and think about.

A lot of your work seems to be about the tension between animals and humans. What about this tension interests you?
I think tension is the most interesting element to any relationship, whether it's between people, animals, colors, shapes etc. With people and animals, there are so many facets to the tension that I find it really interesting to explore.

Why did you choose to pair Puppies Behind Bars with your print?
A lot of my work, and this piece in particular, takes a dark look at the relationships between humans and animals/nature. Puppies Behind Bars is a such a positive take on those relationships that I thought it would be a nice counterpoint. I really love what they do.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I don't know. I'm not sure that I have.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Stanley Kubrick. His movies have always been incredibly inspirational to me, and after I learned more about him I became really impressed with how particular and methodical he was. As far as filmmakers go he wasn't all that prolific, but almost everything he made was awesome. I really admire artists who take their time.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
Joshua Johnson, Francis Barlow and Kamal al-din Bihzad.

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