The New Portrait (Ryan McCann)

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The New Portrait

by artist Ryan McCann

On view from October 15, 2019 to December 31, 2020

8775 Sunset Boulevard + 666-692 Robertson Boulevard

The New Portrait is a temporary exhibition of 15 unique digital art works printed on vinyl. The exhibition takes place at two locations. The first location, 8775 Sunset Boulevard, the city-owned parking lot, will exhibit 5 art works, each 10 x 8 feet on the existing masonry walls. The second location, between 666-692 Robertson Boulevard, the West Hollywood Park construction fence, will exhibit 10 art works, each 4 x 5 feet.

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 construction fence) makes for an accessible and engaging experience for the diverse audience that is West Hollywood. 

The 15 portraits represent the diversity of the city in gender, race, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation.

 

 Her reputation

8775 Sunset

  About the Artist:

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.  

For more information about this project contact Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, at mche@weho.org