BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR,..."
REQUISITE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
is an intimate language that speaks on deep and
primal levels, and it never says the same things
to any two people. The symbols and stories
hold different meanings for each who pauses to
gaze and wonder. I try to connect
with the viewer through imagery, while
playing with metaphors and taking phrases
out of context, and stirring up the senses all for
its own sake. It's visual
wordplay, where a slip of the tongue becomes a
stroke of the brush.
I have vague, nebulous reasons
to suspect I was stolen from Gypsies as an
I ran away to
join the circus, but it had already gone home to
ADD -- labelled by dullards inconvenienced by
their own boringness -- is something I've come to
regard an asset. I'm still discovering ways
to exploit it. It lets me multi-task, and
think both divergently and tangentially.
Pills were suggested, typically by
People-With-Short-Attention-Spans. But, really
-- come on now, how can my taking a pill
possibly make a someone
interesting? Life is too short for such
I went to two different
universities, and quickly realized each time
that I wasn't keen on jumping through fiery
hoops just for a bit of sheepskin and bragging
rights -- yeah, you'd think I'd learned my
lesson the first time, right? But
no-ooo, not me.
Long before I could get to any of
the interesting or useful courses in the
degree programs, I had to drop out because of all the insanely expensive and time
consuming prerequisites, that demanded
their own sets of prerequisites, that
had absolutely nothing to do with what I
wanted to learn,...
... I wouldn't even get
to the good stuff for at least two years.
Two freakin' years. Nuts to that.
Again, life is short.
As a consequence I elected to study the
subjects of my choice independently. So, when it comes to making any kind of art, I'm entirely
self taught -- which means I get all the
credit, but it also means I get all the blame.
It's a Hopi belief that knowledge
is not given -- it must be earned, and the
hard way at that. No one can hand skill
or knowledge to me. It will always
come down to personal effort. As
Leonardo da Vinci put it, "I am a disciple of
Much of my imagery is drawn from my
own dreams and nightmares. Humanity's lost,
forbidden and obscured histories have always
called to me -- this drives my
zeal for research, which leads me to find
remarkable parallels between the various world
mythologies -- and then I try to peel back the
veneers imposed upon civilization and the human
psyche to see what lies beneath them, working to
decipher what I find there using the tools of
symbol, metaphor, and archetype.
A few who've influenced me in
my artwork: Arthur
Bachelier, Bill Sienkiewicz, Adnan Karabay,
Akira Blount, Nancy Wiley,
Brian Froud, Cirque du Soleil,
Gustav Klimt, the
whole Belle Epoque, Chuck Jones,
Carl Barks, Hergé, N.C.Wyeth, Charles
Franklin Booth, H.J.Ford,
Del Toro, Yoshitaka Amano -- yeah, kinda all
over the place. But like Mame said, "Life
is a banquet, and most poor bastards are starving
I used to sign my works CSM but now I sign
them RYL (in case you were wondering about
that). It isn't an 'artist thing', it's just
a matter of personal evolution and the endless,
inexorable search for Self.
C.V. / WHATEV
Types of professional work I've
done commercially: privately commissioned
graphic designs for SF/F conventions
and fencing tournaments; fashion illustrations
for indie clothing designers; 'house portraits';
RPG collectible cards, cover art, interior
illustrations for gaming companies; custom mask
design and creation for both legitimate theatre
and private masquerades; et cetera.
Over the years
I've received a couple dozen awards for my
creations -- both in visual arts and leather
masks -- much of which are now in private
collections around the globe.
could look it all up and eventually drop a few
score names to impress or bore you, but in all
candor I'm more interested in striding forward
and creating new works, than I am in lounging
about languidly upon my alleged laurels.
# # #
© Ryl Mandus. All rights reserved.
in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend
our fire and restless force
tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us -- to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
and critic, Oxford University