I like games – playing them and designing scenarios and settings in which games of fantasy can take place. I’ve been playing role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons since I was a kid, and since I started painting, I began to realize that painting and role-playing in such games are similar. In a game you imagine layers of surface and substance on a framework of governing rules. You give names to things that are otherwise represented by abstract data or systems, and you carve your way into that world by exploring and making changes to it. The rules allow the changes, but you imagine how those changes effect the unfolding of the game’s narrative, like the grave finality of the ‘death’ of the King in a game of chess. Painting is kind of the same. You get to know the territory. Once it becomes familiar, you begin to inhabit it, tell yourself stories about it.
Ryan Browning earned a BA from Brigham Young University and an MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA in Baltimore, MD. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, most recently at UNTITLED Miami with ADA Gallery (2013); and solo and group shows at the Creative Alliance (2012) and School 33 Art Center (2011) in Baltimore, MD; His work has been featured in print in New American Paintings (2011, 2013), and he has participated in residencies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2011) and Harold Arts, OH (2010). He currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, in Doha, Qatar.