How did you get into making art?
After attending art school, I transitioned out of art and became a hat designer. I had always been fascinated with costume and its ability to communicate identity and hats are one of the simplest signifiers of identity. I eventually started to experiment with separating that identity from its human host, which of course led me back to art. I left fashion in order to focus on what those entities might look like and consider what narratives they might encounter. I still use millinery as the primary medium in my art practice.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on developing a series of characters and objects based on signs and concepts used in the canon of fashion. These objects are serious but also tounge in cheek, often addressing problematic ideas surrounding otherness.
After working in fashion for over fifteen years, I was interested in taking a closer look at why we wear what we wear. What shapes, colors and fabrics do we use to construct our visual identities?
What inspired you to get started on this body of work?
After working in fashion for over fifteen years, I was interested in taking a closer look at why we wear what we wear. What shapes, colors and fabrics do we use to construct our visual identities? I was interested in the spectrum of intention behind those choices and who are we without those choices?
Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?
I think of my practice as one enormous project and I make artwork in a similar way to how I made fashion collections. I use contemporary trends to build on top of classic ideas.
What’s a typical day like in your studio?
I work in my studio everyday starting at 9am. Since my art studio and my millinery studio are in the same place, it allows the two practices to feed off of eachother and inspire eachother. They are in constant conversation.
Who are your favorite artists?
My favorite artists are often people who blend humor, pain and mystery. Some of my favorite contemporary artists are Oona Brangam-Snell, Gahee Park, and Nick Doyle. My favorite classics are Louise Bourgeois, Hans Bellmer and Dorthea Tanning.
Where do you go to discover new artists?
I discover new artists everyday through friends and my favorite gallery programs.
Ryan Wilde is an artist based in New York who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist: