Ryan McGinness creates his neon, psychedelic paintings through a mixture of influences—pop art, surrealism, abstraction, and street art. He was trained in graphic art at Carnegie Mellon University, and while there, he interned at the Andy Warhol Museum. This combination inspired McGinness to explore the ways in which commercial imagery—such as brand logos from the skate and surf culture in which he was raised—can illicit personal response and reaction. His work is predominantly neon in color because, he explains, “When I look inward, those are the colors I see.” His swirling biomorphic forms translate to many mediums—painting, sculpture, and large-scale installation.
The present work, titled A Dream Within A Dream (What Am I, A Mind Reader?)features a sky-blue background with intricate designs climbing asymmetrically up the canvas. A kaleidoscope of images spin upward, featuring floral, fractal, geometric, and biomorphic shapes. His colors are characteristically bright, with yellow orange, green, and red popping against the dominance of the smooth blue backdrop. This work gives the impression of a type of beautifully controlled chaos, such as might be found in a dream, as the apt title appears to suggest.