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City Debuts ‘The New Portrait’ by Artist Ryan McCann

Post Date:October 24, 2019 9:03 AM

The New Portrait by Ryan McCannThe City of West Hollywood debuts a new exhibition of artworks by Ryan McCann. The New Portrait is a temporary exhibition of 15 unique digital art works printed on vinyl, which represent the diversity of the City in gender, race, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation. The exhibition takes place at two locations:

  1. At 8775 Sunset Boulevard, featuring five art works each 10 x 8 feet, on the masonry walls on the perimeter of the City-owned parking lot, and;
  2. Between 666 and 692 N. Robertson Boulevard, featuring 10 art works each 4 x 5 feet, on a fence adjacent to West Hollywood Park.

The art works in the exhibition are from an ongoing body of work called The New Portrait. In this series, the artist photographs the subjects, distorting them in real time, leaving only the impression of the subject and removing the details that make them personally identifiable. There is no digital manipulation of the image so what you see is what the artist sees in the camera.

Because the subject’s identity is naturally obscured, the ambiguity allows the viewers to place themselves in the frame and freely attach their own meaning. The artist states: “I take the existing world and challenge you to see it differently. Whether finding the beauty in abstraction in my photos, I encourage the viewer to look past the obvious and take in the beauty we are so fortunate to experience.”

This makes for an effective outdoor art project because the juxtaposition of the familiar presentation (framed art like a museum would show) in an unfamiliar setting (an outdoor parking lot and a fence) makes for an accessible and engaging experience for the diverse audience that is West Hollywood.

Ryan McCann studied art and history while at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2003, shortly after graduation and a sting with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, McCann suffered a career ending injury. This led him back to pursue his passion, art. Since 2004, McCann has exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in several institutional collections. McCann has done public works for Gibson’s Sunset Strip Guitar Town, a mural for the downtown Los Angeles interactive opera Hopscotch, and Patron Tequila’s live art on the Hollywood Walk of Fame via the Los Angeles Art Association. 

The City of West Hollywood delivers a broad array of arts programs including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Urban Art Program (permanent public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, the WeHo Reads literary series, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, the City Poet Laureate Program, Human Rights Speakers Series and the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/arts.

For more information about The New Portrait, please visit www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/visual-arts/art-on-the-outside/the-new-portrait. For an album of images, please visit the City’s Flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/weho/sets/72157711437100846.

For more information, please contact Mike Che, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, at (323) 848-6377 or at mche@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call (323) 848-6496.

Follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.

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