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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Making of Chris Ryniak & Amanda Louise Spayd's 'Migration' Part 2: A Journey Through Illustration

In continuation of our coverage of Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd's Migration, we take a look at the two-dimensional goodness that they'll be bringing next month to Stranger Factory. As we touched upon last week, the show is centralized on the theme of exploration: it tells the tale of critters leaving the familiar comforts of home and taking a brave step into uncharted territories. Likewise, while the critters scramble over rocks and under fallen debris, they're also embarking on an intrapersonal journey, confronting their fears and insecurities, learning to believe in themselves and trusting their intuition. The test is as physical as it is emotional, and given the autobiographical nature of Migration, the artists are overcoming these obstacles right along with them.

For Chris and Amanda, the fruits of their journey show most prominently in their work. Compared to Late Season in Nov. 2011, their work has grown more confident, having elevated their sculpting skills in the last year with larger, more intricate creations -- just look at Monsters & Misfits II. And as we'll see with Migration, they're now tackling new mediums with an enthusiastic fearlessness that's nothing short of inspiring.

Chris Ryniak's daily scribbles have become something of a cult phenomenon in social media land. They're adorable and random, and often give us that much-needed pick-me-up before the start of the work day. They're usually drawn with graphite, but sometimes they take on new forms, like the watercolours we saw this past summer. And while Chris refuses to tear pages out of his sketchbook (the saddest part of daily scribbles) the sketches we've seen lately are on loose-leaf sketchbook paper and will be framed for the show along with some of his more refined drawings (yay!). In addition to these, Ryniak will have some small oil paintings, which are also looking quite stunning.

And then there's Amanda Spayd, whose work I'm particularly stoked about. Not choosing favourites, by any means, but Migration marks the first time that she'll be formally exhibiting original critter drawings and paintings, which is super exciting. Aside from the standard doodle a lucky few of us have managed to get at conventions, Mandi is taking her 2D work a step further, busting out the coloured studio pencils, and mounting some on vintage labels or book pages. She's got one critter in there who's plopped atop a Polish ad for kidney tonic from 1928! Seriously! Very excited to see how these turn out!


Migration is a two-person collaborative exhibition featuring new works from Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. The show opens March 1st through the 31st at Stranger Factory (109 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106). Opening reception will be held March 1st from 6pm to 9pm; both artists will be in attendance!

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