I see each of my paintings as a dense collection of layered missteps guided by a single underlying intention. In most of my work, I’m attempting a semi-realistic interpretation of an imagined environment, employing realism and abstraction in a way that gives the impression of a scene on the verge of collapse. The photographic source material I use serves as both a jumping off point and something to fight against. I try to glean from the source only that which resonates with me and dispose of the rest so as to avoid slavish depiction. The ideal result is a faint echo or a total reconstruction of what is observed, anchored by recurring themes of nostalgia, my own existential anxieties and the corruption of human memory. I view the painting process as a form of self-examination – the end product’s value lying in the thoughts, emotions and memories I’ve projected onto the objective source.

Mike Ryczek graduated from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. He lives and works as a full-time artist and designer in Dedham, Massachusetts. Ryczek’s work was selected for a juried exhibition at the Danforth Art Museum in 2015, and it has been featured in Art Maze Mag and by the Jealous Curator. BOOOOOOOM has twice given Ryczek’s work its Editor’s Pick award, and he was a recipient of the 2022 Painting Fellowship from Mass Cultural Council. He is currently represented by 13Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA.