b. 1989 (San Francisco, CA) 

In the world of Ryan Bock’s creation, the laws of physics do not dictate how shadows slope or light refracts. They are abandoned in favor of truncation and impossible perspective. Representations seeming, at first glance, to belong to this world are made strange by Bock’s fixation on shapes both organic and mechanical. His disoriented, often grayscale landscapes of art belong to the realm of human subconscious, and are as vast and lonely as they are prophetic and fevered.

Ranging in a variety of unique mediums—painting, sculpture, puppetry, film, jewelry, masks— Bock confronts the modern individual’s relationship to mortality, fear and superstition. He often depicts correlations between the human figure and its innovations: technology, architecture, and religion, both historically and fictitiously. He, for example, tethers ancient and modern technology, thus introducing shapes of antiquity to machine-made ones of contemporary society.

By consistently contrasting historical issues with those of contemporary times, and using the recurring patterns found to generate predictions about our future—a process he refers to as dusty futurism—Bock propels his audience to question the routine human experience and disclose the illusions set in place to keep them from questioning.

Although the weight of his work is heavy, giving form to unexposed dark matter, it relays a relentless dedication to Bock’s exploration of how the private human mind can approach the overwhelming expanse of dictatorial structures. It reminds you that, even standing before the most impenetrable and complex problems of our time, you are autonomous.

In this body of work, the unveiling of truth is not hopeless, but decisive. Bock suggests that the spreading of critical thought into the catacombs of our world can produce light from the inside out.