Brian Black (born 1972) and Ryan Bullis (born 1983) have been working collaboratively in Southern California since 2004. This artist team appropriates iconic activities and challenges masculinity, athleticism, and identity preconceptions. Their assisted sculptures are exaggerated archetypes taken from the workplace, sports, and pedestrian life. By adjusting the familiar and pushing the level of absurdity in their art-making, they invite the audience to reconsider the sanctity and boundaries of the art institution. Their installation-based work is site-specific and focuses on engaging the audience with familiar forms while altering components of the space in an inquisitive and playful manner. These alterations transform spaces and lead viewers to discoveries about that space. Their collective work allows their independent objectives and concerns to converge into what has simply become known as Brian & Ryan.
Ryan Bulis earned his BA in Fine and Studio Arts from the University of California Davis and an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara. Brian Black holds a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture and a Bachelor’s of Art Education from Northern Illinois University. Ryan is the Director of the Boehm Gallery at Palomar College and an associate faculty member at Mira Costa College. Brian is an art instructor at Will Crawford High School in San Diego and serves on the San Diego Unified School District VAPA Advisory Council.