Ryan Trecartin casts, directs, films, edits, and often stars in full-length videos that are based on the proliferation of video documentation of today’s youth culture, primarily through the channel of YouTube. The artist has recently been acclaimed by Artnews as “the Matthew Barney of the digital generation,” referencing his surrealistic and sometimes disorienting use of scenery, costume, makeup, and characters. The artist successfully captures the way of life under the cultural aegis of the Internet, incorporating rapid scene changes that mimic the speed at which we click from site to site. Trecartin targets blogs, MySpace, match.com, and camera phones in his latest full-length video I-Be Area, which takes aim at the poseurs, self-promoters, and fictional characters that populate the world wide web today (watch clip). Trecartin has previously been featured on DailyServing for his sculptural and installation work.
Trecartin was a video major at RISD and upon graduation in 2004, moved to New Orleans where he created his first major work, A Family Finds Entertainment, on a budget of $1,000. He relocated to Ohio due to Hurricane Katrina, and later moved to Los Angeles. Despite these setbacks, his videos were already circulating the Internet and were seen by video artist Sue De Beer at a party in Cleveland. She brought his work to the attention of the Whitney Museum curators which led to his inclusion in the 2006 Whitney Biennial as the youngest artist ever to exhibit. He has since shown at New York’s Underground Film Festival as well as the Walker Art Center and Miami’s Moore Space. He is represented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York and has an upcoming solo show at UCLA’s Hammer Museum. His videos now sell for more than $30,000, but he continues to distribute clips through the Internet.