A lot of people feel they are picking up where Picasso left off–but what does that mean? They’re making abstract portraits or people? They’re dipping into cubist surrealism? They’re making art that is now sold as coffee table books at Barnes & Nobles? No idea. But, local artist Ryan Sluggett of Richard Telles Fine Art seems to be doing just that: advancing Picasso-like imagery and constructs as they should be in the present day.
Sluggett’s pieces are fairly large and span multiple media, using acrylic, oil, tempra, dyes, and even fabric. His paintings are these incredibly colorful painted collages that are combining multiple scenes and figures, abstracted to create on new cohesive “scene.” You can discern figures and sometimes gestural lines and other times the sketching of what appears to be an invisible hand. There are multiple techniques in painting happening on these paintings, too, which is product of the different mediums being used together.
Now, of course, we have no idea if Sluggett is even trying to follow in Picasso’s footsteps or if he even hates the comparison. However, you’d have to be completely blind to not see the similarities and how Sluggett has advanced the idea of abstract figures into something so fluid that it’s gone from cubism to a messy reductive hyper-colored figure painting. You also have to take in the titles of his pieces, which give insight into what it is: at the top, Baby Checkout, followed by Stew, Family Limo, and Slap.
Sluggett just had a show close at Telles and is actually quite young (he finished his MFA at UCLA just last year). Keep you eyes out for him as I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of his work around town soon enough.