By Christine Snyder

In honor of Autism Awareness month, FAM’s April Artist Spotlight Series will feature autistic artists!  This week’s featured artist is Ryan Smoluk, a Canadian artist whose work has been recognized in publications, galleries, and even a United Nations postage stamp sold around the world.  He often incorporates mixed media and unconventional materials, like coffee grounds, pills, and magazine clippings.  Much of his work also includes small details and text, requiring the viewer to take their time while observing in order to really understand the pieces, which often look different depending on the distance or the perspective from which they’re viewed.  Much like people, the more you learn about them, the more beautiful they become.

Real Fake, 2012

This piece reminds me of a very dark interpretation of an Andy Warhol painting.  What do you think the artist is saying about pop culture, consumerism, and society?



Culture Shock, 2012

This piece makes me think about belonging and celebrating differences and culture.


Hello, 2012

What do you think the artist is saying about childhood, communication, or asking for help?


I love his art–not just because of the beautiful intricacies, texture, and depth of meaning–but also because it  inspires me to look closely, try different perspectives, and appreciate the beauty of learning about things I don’t immediately understand.  I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this artist in the future!

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