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Ryan Duggan, Avondale Artist, Featured in New Solo Exhibition

By Victoria Johnson | September 6, 2013 11:46am
 Avondale resident Ryan Duggan has a solo exhibit running through September at Johalla Projects on the Near West Side.
Ryan Duggan Solo Exhibition
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AVONDALE — In a way, Avondale artist Ryan Duggan is living every artist's dream — he quit his day job to work full time on his art.

The 30-year-old artist said he's always done freelance design and illustration work on the side, but over the summer he found he was getting enough freelance work to quit his 9-to-5 gig at publishing firm Guerrero Howe.

To put the icing on the cake, Duggan is getting the chance to display the fruits of all his labors at a solo exhibition that runs Friday through Sept. 30 at Johalla Projects at 1821 W. Hubbard St. on the Near West Side.

"Most of what I do is printmaking and posters and stuff, but then every once and a while I get a show doing straight up whatever I want," said Duggan. "I feel good about it. It's all work that I've made pretty recently so it's all pretty fresh with me — I'm not sick of it."

The show consists of sculptures, wooden duck decoys, and paintings, for which he uses common house paint.

"I like the colors you can get mixed, and it's real durable, and it's fun to work with," he said.

Though the work diverges from his usual printmaking, text and type still feature prominently.

As exhibition organizers put it: "Ryan Duggan’s work is keenly informed by the oddity of the everyday. Often fueled by his appreciation of signage and text, Duggan utilizes advertising strategies to subvert a traditionally informative message into something more intriguing or surprising. In this sense, Duggan challenges notions of purpose in visual communication and suggests an alternative way of 'looking.' "

Duggan's solo exhibition begins Friday with a reception from 7-10 p.m.