Ryan Trecartin's video narratives unfold like futuristic fever dreams. Collaborating with an ensemble cast of family and friends, he merges sophisticated digital manipulations with footage from the Internet and pop culture, animations, and wildly stylized sets and performances. While the astonishing A Family Finds Entertainment (2005) has drawn comparisons to Jack Smith, early John Waters, and Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Trecartin crafts startling visions that are thoroughly unique.
Kevin McGarry writes,
"Ryan Trecartin has established a singular video practice that in form and in function advances understandings of post-millennial technology, narrative and identity, and also propels these matters as expressive mediums. His work depicts worlds where consumer culture is amplified to absurd or nihilistic proportions and characters circuitously strive to find agency and meaning in their lives. The combination of assaultive, nearly impenetrable avant-garde logics and equally outlandish, virtuoso uses of color, form, drama and montage produces a sublime, stream-of-consciousness effect that feels bewilderingly true to life."
Ryan Trecartin was born in 1981 in Webster, Texas. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island in 2004. Solo exhibitions include Any Ever, which traveled from the Power Plant, Toronto in 2009 to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2010, then to the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL in 2011; MoMA P.S.1, Long Island City, New York; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (both in 2011); Kunsthalle Wien, Austria; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York. His works have been seen in group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ZKM - Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia; The Eighth Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea; MIT/List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; the 2006 Biennial Exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; USA Today: Works from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Moore Space, Miami, Florida; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; New York Underground Film Festival, New York; Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago; and Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, among others.
In 2009 Trecartin was the recipient of the first Jack Wolgin Fine Art Prize, presented by the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, which recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence on an international level. In 2009 he received the Calvin Klein Collection New Artist of the Year Award at The First Annual Art Awards, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He also received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2009.
Trecartin currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.