Mike Ryczek graduated from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass. in 2006 with a BFA in Illustration, a concentration that he soon after decided he didn’t want to pursue. He lives and works as a painter and designer in Wellesley, Mass. with his girlfriend Liz and their rotund but lovable cat Izzy. One has been consistently supportive of his artistic pursuits and the other has consistently whined for food and woken him up every morning with her incessant meowing.
My tendency has always been to want to dismantle things in order to make sense of the world around me, and I think that is essentially what art is: dismantling and rearranging with the hopes of gaining insight into the raw materials you began with. I love realist art that manages to please the senses, capture the tangible world and illuminate all it’s wonderful subtleties. I also appreciate art that forgoes direct representation and instead uses abstract shape and color to communicate a strong concept. That being said, my paintings try to synthesize all of these elements and ideally speak to both my love of beauty and intelligence. My work oftentimes does not include the human figure, but it is usually an attempt to deconstruct the human condition through the use of imagery I find interesting and contradictory. Although I enjoy writing about my work, I also want it to be open to interpretation and to promote discussion as I find my explanations to be no more or less valid than those of the viewer. Art for me serves two main purposes: as a mode of cathartic release and fulfillment for the artist, and as a projector screen onto which the viewer can see their own most inexplicable, intimate thoughts and feelings expressed for them in a way they might not be able to express themselves.
Ryczek was featured in filmmaker Nick Noyes' documentary series Portrait of the Artists, which explores the works and practices of the three artists in 13FOREST Gallery's Winter 2016 exhibition Construct, Belief and Nostalgia.