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Artist Statement

January, 2007

I use my old bike for the ride from work in the West Village home. I ride down Washington Street, across West 10th past townhouses and the school playground for rich little children. Trees line the blocks and I cross Greenwich with all its boutiques and tourists. Further east the sex shops; windows with huge dildos, whips and lots of pink. I pass NYU and attractive students who, self-absorbed, neglect to look as they cross the street. The East Village and the record shops, down toward the lower east side over Houston and the Indian place where they nuke your food in Styrofoam. Cabbies and drunk kids eat there. Soon I’m pushing my way up the Williamsburg Bridge; warm in winter, sweating in summer and the reward of looking over my left shoulder to see the skyline. Next the tricky spot where you have to avoid oncoming traffic. It warrants caution. Then Grand Street past bars, cafés, restaurants and bodegas blaring salsa. There’s always some asshole parked in the bike lanes here. Things look more industrial as I head toward Morgan Avenue—an area once described to me as a vision of hell as depicted in a bible-land theme park. Graffiti, interesting trash, DIY sculpture gardens and train tracks. I’m surrounded by factory smells—frying dough, burnt popcorn and tar. Just another few pushes and I roll up to the gate of my studio. Across the street there’s a place with good rice and beans and beer; the guy used to rip me off but now he greets me with a ‘Hey, Papi!’, but I’m not hungry yet and it’s time to paint.

Photograph copyright Qz Zhang

Copyright 2007 Evan Reehl Ryer.