Blue Rose #2
Blue Rose #2
by Will Ryman
Will Ryman’s Blue Rose #2 marks the entrance to CityPlace as one of the key elements of the city’s cultural revitalization program presented by Related Companies and developed in association with art consultancy, Culture Corps.
The blue rendition of three larger-than-life roses is an extension of Ryman’s acclaimed site-specific sculpture series, “The Roses,” which lined Park Avenue, New York in 2011.The organic subject matter of the work is juxtaposed against the urban backdrop of downtown West Palm Beach, adding surprise and delight as visitors’ enter CityPlace. The iconography of the rose is immediately recognizable, while its familiarity is transfigured through monumental size and bright blue coloring. Ryman points out that this deliberate distortion is intended to move the bloom away from its traditional symbolism and towards something more abstract. The rose, in this form, becomes a collection of silhouettes and shapes. Though the simplicity of the flower is made into an object that is more conceptual and complex, its accessibility is undeniable. The form of the rose, followed by its transformation by Ryman, gives way to various levels of interpretation, suggesting the futility of a singular worldwide symbol. Ryman’s sculpture questions the notion of a universal vocabulary of style, as each viewer will undoubtedly experience Blue Rose #2 in a unique way. Blue Rose #2 is ultimately a transformation and celebration of daily metropolitan life, reshaping the way that visitors perceive and interact with their surroundings.
Will Ryman was born in 1969 in New York. His style recalls the Pop Art of Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg, the latter also known for creating large-scale, good-humored public works. Ryman’s work has been shown at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, and Saatchi Gallery in London. In January 2011, his rose sculptures transformed the length of Park Avenue in New York City, as his largest installation. Recent exhibitions also include works at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, by which he is represented. He currently lives and works in New York City.