natural synthetics | Arsenal Gallery Central Park, NYC | Los Angeles Art Show 2012
Natural Synthetics features paintings, installations, and video by the Washington DC-based artist Ryan Hackett. Intrigued by a common desire to find solace in feigned natural environments, Hackett manipulates the forms, colors, and sounds of the natural world into highly immersive experiences. He "samples" auditory and visual elements, repeating and manipulating the sound or image to create a hybrid composition, much like an electronic musician. In one of Hackett’s works, lung-like forms emit the serene sounds of a forest along with a "fresh air" scent, just as layered paintings diffuse photographs of animals and machines, questioning the dichotomy of artifice and nature.
Hackett received his B.A. in studio art from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute. In between his academic pursuits, he co-founded Decatur Blue, a Washington D.C.-based artist collective that challenged the commercial constructs of the art world by serving as curator, artist, and gallery. Hackett's work has been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally including the permanent collection of the U.S. Department of State's Arts in Embassies program on exhibit in Antananarivo, Madagascar. His work is also featured in the permanent collection of MGM Grand, currently on view at the Project City Center in Las Vegas, NV. In 2010 Hackett was awarded the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize for his exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. This past fall he exhibited work in the solo show natural synthetics at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, NYC.