Ryan Wilde

Region: MFA Annual

City / State: Maspeth , NY

 I explore strategies used by women to navigate social systems. Building on my career as a hat designer, I’ve repurposed my craft to invite public dialogues on the theatricality of gender. Using patterns and color associated with feminine ideals, my work plays on uncanny extremes that occur when women mirror fetishized personae. By highlighting the semiotic mechanism of cultural expression, my work creates a platform to reconsider the purpose of the conventional system of signification.

Costume has become foundational to female identity. Beginning with the consumption of imagery, women often mold themselves based on an interpretation of power. Whether that power has a foundation in beauty, intelligence, or wealth, we collect visual signs that we then reflect back out into the world in order to harness their faculties. Every time a woman projects out her version of those signs, she creates a new lexicon to be consumed by others in a never-ending abstraction of the mirroring process. I am particularly interested in the shift when these interpretations cross the line into absurdity and dysfunction.