Ryan Arenson

Baby Yellow

Little Boxes, 2010

Inkjet printer on awagami paper, 30 x 47.9 cm, R 2 300 VAT incl. unframed

A Cloud, 2010

Inkjet printer on awagami paper, 30 x 47.9 cm, R 2 300 VAT incl. unframed

David Krut Projects is pleased to present Baby Yellow, a solo exhibition by previous collaborator Ryan Arenson, showcasing a body of work that spans over ten years, including artist books, digital, ink and pencil drawings, and prints made in collaboration with our Workshop.

 

Beginning with a simple drawing app on the iPad called Brushes, Arenson created a digital character called Baby Yellow, and a digital world of real-life feelings and fantasy. Brushes, used by David Hockney in his groundbreaking Paris exhibition at the same time, allowed Arenson a new way of creating, pulling him away from detailed line work that he was used to. “I felt I needed a drawing style that was freer, less self-conscious, less skilled.”

Detail of Out at Sea with No Body, 2017

Coloured pencil and graphite on paper

59 x 17 cm

R 17 250 VAT incl. framed

Baby Yellow is a 6-year-old boy, an alter-ego whose life and inner feelings have been documented over nine books, detailing his escapades in drawing, writing, practicing t’ai chi, making music, playing in a band, and enacting wild fantasies of the adult kind. As the books develop, veering into wild territory bordering on the absurd, one is struck by the echoes of inner turmoil and deep emotion present in the stories. Framed in a childlike manner, the impact of the ideas dealt with is equally jarring and compelling.

Clouds series, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper, 24.9 x 10 cm each, R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed each

Every Clown has a Silver Lining series, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper, 24.8 x 10 cm each, R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed each

While many of the frames in the books draw on child-like forms of stick figures and scribbles, the pages develop and expand, and Arenson is evidently unable to shed his love and aptitude for detailed line work and intricate pattern. The results are fantastical images, many of which recall naïve art, printed on thin awagami paper.

 

Alongside the digital artworks of the books, Baby Yellow includes a series of fantastical small-scale ink and gouache works and larger coloured pencil drawings, as well as linocut prints. The prints are derived from the digital frames of the Baby Yellow books and made in collaboration with David Krut Workshop printer Sbongiseni Khulu. The simple yet complex linocut prints incorporate chine collé elements in the same yellow awagami paper of the artist books, handwork in pencil crayon and linework made by scratching into the paper surface.

Drowning, 2021

Coloured pencil on black etching paper

56.6 x 75.6 cm

R 17 250 VAT incl. unframed

In the linocuts Arenson has preserved the pixelated line resulting from blowing up the small drawings. This turns on its head the notion of immediacy in digital artworks – a quick scribble on the iPad is painstakingly carved to resemble a digital artwork. The simulation of different media and the digital versus the handmade is also present in the books, where a black background is coloured over in white in a matter of minutes, leaving a surface that appears carved and printed in black ink on white paper.

I saw an angel in the water, 2021

Coloured pencil on black etching paper

56.6 x 75.6 cm

R 17 250 VAT incl. unframed

Rain, 2010

Inkjet printer on awagami paper

30 x 47.9 cm

R 2 300 VAT incl. unframed

Moon, 2010

Inkjet printer on awagami paper

59.1 x 58.1 cm

R 3 000 VAT incl. unframed

The Zaakiyah, 2020

Coloured pencil and spray paint on paper

69 x 38.2 cm

R 17 250 VAT incl. unframed

Left: The Sun, 2021

Gouache and ink on paper

24.9 x 10 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Right: The Moon, 2021

Gouache and ink on paper

24.9 x 10 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Land series, 2021

Gouache and ink on paper, 25.1 x 10 cm each, R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed each

Karate series, 2010

Watercolour on paper, 25.4 x 17.8 cm each, R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed each

Addiction series, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper, Approximately 10 x 25 cm each, R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed each

Hello, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper

10 x 25 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Hi, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper

10 x 25 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Baby Yellow with Wings, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper

10 x 25 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Lucky Stars, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper

10 x 25 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Upside down, 2021

Ink and gouache on paper

10 x 25 cm

R 4 600 VAT incl. unframed

Baby Yellow Self Portrait Rehearsal, 2022

Linocut with chine colle and coloured pencil

60 x 39.8 cm

R 12 000 VAT incl. unframed

Self Portrait as Baby Yellow, 2022

Linocut with chine colle and coloured pencil

60 x 39.8 cm

R 15 000 VAT incl. unframed

The Rod and the Staff 2, 2022

Linocut and coloured pencil, 49.5 x 77 cm, R 12 000 VAT incl. unframed

Edition Variation of 3

Linocut and coloured pencil

28 x 77 cm

R 8 000 VAT incl. unframed each

The Nine Books of Baby Yellow, 2010

Editioned artist books

Inkjet print on Awagami paper, hand-bound, in archival sleeves

Approximately 12 x 18.5 x 3 cm

R 15 000 VAT incl.

Individual pages from The Nine Books of Baby Yellow, 2010 are available for sale

Inkjet print on Awagami paper in archival sleeves

10,5 x 15 cm

R 200 each

Yellow, 2010

Oil on canvas

15,3 x 15,3 cm

R 2 000 VAT incl. unframed

In the beginning there was baby yellow, 2010

Oil on canvas

15,3 x 15,3 cm

R 2 000 VAT incl. unframed

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