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Ryan McLennan  Richmond, VA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Ryan

McLennan is part of a vanguard of young painters who have twisted the conventional, naturalist approach to depicting animals and environmental themes in mischievous ways to the serious end of drawing attention to environmental issues. In the tradition of great naturalist painters such as John James Audubon, McLennan has become both student and advocate: inspired by many hours spent in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, this VCU grad and Virginia native has undertaken an in-depth inquiry into the evolution and displacement of North America wildlife, and his understanding of changing patterns in their behavior, incurred as a direct result of changes and destruction to their natural habitats, is evidenced in his maturing body of work.

As informed as McLennan is regarding scientific developments in the changing environment, his works are first and foremost allegorical; these finely rendered large-scale paintings on paper are on first view whimsical, yet the darker nature of their message cannot be denied. Like Edward Hicks ‘The Peaceable Kingdom” which depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which the natural food chain has been disbanded and all manner of creatures have become friendly companions, McLennan depicts nature upended, and in so doing he means to tell us the story of our own undoing’there is at once something innocent and suspect taking place in these barren tableaus.

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10 of 13 reactions displayed

"lol cool :);)"

"I guess we see only what we want to. Case in point, the tree of disappearing figures. Are those human limbs or tree limbs? Is that a half women's face half way up? An alligator swallowing prey? Innocent egrets perch around, but are they really innocent? Is that a human head with a crown of thorns on the flying egret? What's that on the ground. I dare not guess. An artistic talent depicting bizarre macabre illusion of the dark side."

"Caught my attention. Very poignant!"

"I love this guy, seen his stuff before and its always refreshing to see more."

"Touching, technically skilled, a statement that shakes the senses without shouting."

"Very skillful painting. I didn't care for it."

"wow that is all i have to say"

"Rarely has a piece of art effected me in an acutely emotional way like this. Thank you."

"Perhaps inspired by nature (naturalist) and our world's environment like other artists too??"


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