Curate Joshua Tree
February 16, 2016
Right off of Old Woman Springs Rd. in Flamingo Heights, perched on top of a hill over looking this incredible landscape sits Ryan Schneider's cabin and painting studio.It's a gorgeous day, and exceptionally windy on this hill, we caught Ryan for a studio visit and interview as he is just about to ship off all this work for an upcoming show in March at Gerhard Hofland Gallery in Amsterdam (GerhardHofland.com
Before we met, I sent a few questions to Ryan, below is what he had to say to those. Listen to podcast to hear the entire studio visit, Ryan talks about his shift from NYC to the Mojave, his spiritual act of painting and his new found patience in his work.
Tell us about where you are from and how you ended up here in Flamingo Heights area?
I grew up outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. Sort of a rural/suburban area but mostly rural where my family and I were. Just acres of woods, a creek, and up the road is just an endless sea of corn fields. I went to school at the Maryland Institute College of Art, so I lived in Baltimore for 4 years- those years are a little fuzzy. Then in 2002 I moved to New York, and never imagined I would live any where else because I loved it so much. Last year my wife Dana and I came out to Joshua Tree for what was supposed to be just a three-month retreat in the desert. We rented a house a few miles down a dirt road, near the back entrance of the park. I was painting outside, she was working and we were just enjoying the silence and nothingness of the desert, hiking, breathing, and sort of recovering from 13 years of intense living in the city. I think it was in March that we started to realize we weren't going back to New York. It was a shocking but titillating idea, and we didn't really tell anyone about it, until our friends offered us the house they were about to move out of in Flamingo Heights. We came to look at the place and as soon as I saw the green studio on the property, I knew we were not going back to New York. We were just seduced by the strangeness and openness out here, and ready for a radical change in our lives. I still love New York and consider it home as well. But now I can love it from a distance and get to work out here with my wife and two orange cats wandering around.