Ry McCullough is an artist and educator, working in Tampa, Florida. He earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he concentrated in the areas of printmaking and sculpture. Upon completion of his undergraduate work he served as the Director of Sculptural Studies as well as teaching printmaking at Stivers School for the Arts. McCullough received his MFA in Printmaking and Book Arts from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. He currently is serving the Department of Art + Design as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Tampa. McCullough has exhibited nationally, internationally and is the founder of the Standard Action Press Collaborative Zine Project.
Few of our lived experiences are static. Often times, I feel a wavering sense of presence and absence in the shifting flow of daily life. The slowing of this sense is brought on by my engagement with materials in the studio. It is a process of producing material using traditional printing techniques on paper and then cutting them up to create collage-based works and book forms. The intervals of creation and destruction are energized by improvisational choices of placement, creating visual balance and tension.
My work speaks to an interest in color and shape as interchangeable units in an idiosyncratic and abstract formal vocabulary. It is a field of options that seems limitless. It is at this point that unlimited potential combinations and unrestricted freedom reveal a sense of anxiety. Each collage work is created through time, marking the accumulation of singular choices. Each component that is added, dissolves anxiety with the affirmation of selection, but also in that choice is the dissolve of freedom. Each single selection nullifies infinite options. This requires an equal interest and disinterest in material, as well as classical notions of expression and preciousness. It is a process of collecting, reducing, and reorganizing material while posing each component in relationship to another. The history of each component and of each choice can never be experienced or expressed in isolation.
My work forms points of connection between seemingly disparate forces of freedom and anxiety. Ultimately, I am influenced by eminent forces that propel culture, derived from my experiences with food, music, landscape, and language. My studio practice stands as an expression of my lived experiences in a state of flux.