Ry Rocklen: Trophy Modern
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Born 1978, Los Angeles, CA, US
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, US
2006 MFA, University of Southern California, CA, US
2001 BFA, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, US
1996-1998 California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, US

Ry Rocklen’s sculptures paradoxically reflect at once a respect for the Duchampian sculptural tradition and an anarchic rebellion against art historical constraints. Collecting cast-off objects from the streets, dumps, or thrift stores, he doctors and assembles them into readymade sculptures charged with an eccentric delicacy that gives them a second, more “poetic” life. Ry Rocklen’s sculptures paradoxically reflect at once a respect for the Duchampian sculptural tradition and an anarchic rebellion against art historical constraints. Collecting cast-off objects from the streets, dumps, or thrift stores, he doctors and assembles them into readymade sculptures charged with an eccentric delicacy that gives them a second, more “poetic” life. Rocklen strategically capitalizes on the viewer’s mental and emotional associations, as Robert Rauschenberg did for his Combines, by selecting objects as much for their cultural connotations as their form. At times employing a wry sense of humor to balance his stringent editing techniques, Rocklen treats manufactured items, like toys, food packaging, furniture remnants, and construction materials, with a spontaneity he traces back to his youth and the development of the creative process through pretend play. This sense of play is reenacted in Rocklen’s process-based studio practice, as he sifts through and rearranges society’s leftovers. TRINIE DALTON
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