Bolts of mixed-media mania and meditative currents of colorful illustration surge through the open space of Florida Mining gallery for the upcoming exhibit, Diogenes The Dog & Ryan Rummel. Featuring an estimated 20 pieces by each artist, the show combines the talents of renowned artist Ryan Rummel and burgeoning renunciate-reclusive-artificem-canem: Diogenes.
Opening Reception 6:00 - 8:00 PM @ Florida Mining, May 22nd, 2014
Rummel has been a fixture on the Southeastern U.S. arts scene for two decades. The pieces for the FMG show are indicative of his evolving, if not restless, creative disciplines. Framed in plexiglass, slender nudes rendered in ink merge into a background of tannish- pink acrylics and red clay stains. Some bodies are adorned with flowers while others seem allergic to this static environment, erupting in pustule-like textures. Rummel dismisses any unified theme for this show, other than acknowledging a personal “imaginative narrative” drawn strictly from his preceding work. In the past decade, the artist estimates he has created more than 1000 drawings, some of which he expands upon to spawn more involved pieces. “I find all of my drawings somewhat situational, in that I was bored and have busy hands,” admits Rummel.
A kind of Joseph Beuys of the Barnyard, Diogenes is currently the artist-in-residence at a pig farm, where he creates assemblages made from found items like fat lighter, stumps, and rocks he finds in the woods, as well as chunks of concrete. Using house paint to gild these freakish fragments of his one-man-wormhole of art, Diogenes’ work is a ricochet of color and twisting forms, resembling mescaline-filled piñatas. A resident of Duval County since 1972, Diogenes is the type of recluse that has turned rural living into a holy hermitage, likening “living off the grid” to inhabiting an uptown penthouse. “I have no computer, no cell phone, and I don't watch TV,” says Diogenes, who denies any accusations that he is "stuck” in the 20th century. “This is patently false. I want nothing to do with anything after 1913.”
Ryan Rummel’s works have been exhibited in more than 30 solo and groups shows and featured in publications including The Village Voice and Art Papers and are in private and corporate collections. Rummel has a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art. An award-winning artist, Rummel has created extensive public art as a muralist and is the former co-owner of the Czigan & Rummel Gallery. In addition, Rummel helped open Club TSI in downtown Jacksonville, where he has since presented dozens of independent music shows. A self-professed “old geezer,” the work of Diogenes has never been formally displayed in a gallery. However, for a decade he would strategically place his work in bars and public spaces in downtown Jacksonville. Diogenes currently lives in a barn that is stacked with washers and dryers, refreshingly indifferent to the rest of our nonsense, and cites the 19th-C. German polymath Schleiermacher’s worldview as one of his guiding mantras: “Imagination supplies what reality withholds.”