This series of collages encapsulates my feelings towards body image and societies’ expectations. There is a certain paradox regarding attitudes towards body image in our society. We are conditioned from a young age to crave sugar (Easter and other holidays are synonymous with sugary treats) and eat unhealthy, chemical-induced food, all the while consuming images of perfect bodies in the media. This can often lead to an unhealthy mental state which further endorses products such as spot creams, gym memberships, diet pills, makeup, weight loss programs... the list goes on and on. It is an endless cycle that is locked in by capitalism.
We are fortunate in the West to see food become, for many people in society, a commodity. Our relationship to food and sex is radically different to what it has been for the majority of our race’s existence. It is no longer about survival and procreation- it is about pleasure, and this is hard to moderate; we no longer need to struggle to hone our bodies for survival… we struggle to hone our minds.
‘HUNGRY’ captures the dichotomy of food and sex. The sweets look attractive and the tones and colours are warm and inviting. The pose is kind of sexual, but also disturbing. The surreal belly-button holes and curvature of the body represent dysmorphia, and the tongues the ever insatiable hunger for pleasure.'
Ryan Peter French graduated with a first degree in Fine Art from Manchester School of Art. His practice consists of painting, illustration and digital media. The subject matter of his paintings lie in our innate ability to share and connect experiences through visual language and 'the necessity of fantasy in the face of reality'. Symbolism, mythology and Jungian psychology are often a prominent feature. His digital collages, inspired by popular culture and the Dada movement, are usually more geared towards social commentary and creating conversation through striking imagery. French is currently exhibiting his digital works and illustrating the queer-horror graphic novel ‘Love Bug’.
To see more of his work, visit his website or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.