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Ryan Steadman
The Painted Word
April 2–24, 2012

21 Downing Street
New York, NY 10014

I started painting books mostly because the shape of a modest canvas is so similar to a book. I also noticed that the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” was actually a very similar disconnect to the problem of the picture plane being both an object and an image. The paintings of the books become my reactions to their style and content versus the designer’s or writer’s intentions. Color changes, wear n’ tear and altered imagery can redirect design elements as well. This gap between ideas or information and the physical book with a cover and pages has become the focal point of my work. It’s a meditation on the power of language but also, what art can/can’t do in the absence of language.

–Ryan Steadman