Ryan Cobourn: Interview

Ryan Cobourn, Flying Ace, 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 78 inches (courtesy of Bryan
Ryan Cobourn, Flying Ace, 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 78 inches (courtesy of Bryant Street Gallery)

Jennifer Samet interviews painter Ryan Cobourn about his work. Cobourn's exhibition I've Been Wrong Before is currently on view Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA (through February 28) and his work was recently on view at Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York.

Cobourn comments: "Cézanne was about fitting things in together. I’m interested in that too. People would probably be surprised to see how I paint. I start very slowly and deliberately and build it up into those forms. And they start crashing into each other. They’re a lot less gestural than people might think. I’m more focused on color and form and tight construction... Yes. That is the other problem with contemporary painting. A lot of people know how to make the image, but they don’t know how to make the thing... I want to make a painterly equivalent. I want them to look visceral and felt and lush. Because that is lacking in contemporary art. I remember early on, having this idea of what I wanted a painting to look like that I wasn’t seeing in the galleries. That’s why I make the stuff I make. I was interested in this idea of gestural paintings that are not systematic."