Joan Ryan

Artists Feature

About The Artist

My work focuses on a reexamination of our cultural myths of identity. Much of my  subject matter derives from magazine images and advertisements from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Many of the images are easily recognizable American icons.  Nostalgic images or symbols of innocence, presented in conjunction of with props of modern day, create an eerie  juxtaposition.  This apposition aims to confront our culture’s selective memory, while asking the viewer to relinquish the  mythologies of our past and to question the façade that masks the twenty-first century.

Nostalgia is an important part of the American legacy. The re-representation of historically familiar images challenges and criticizes traditional stereotypes of human identity. By examining images of identity through our cultural myths, I work to bring into question the belief system through which society sees the world. In these works, I question our manufactured desire for a fictitious past while revealing the mystery of our complex cultural identity.