After the overwhelming and unexpected success of his first solo exhibition with just 24 years old, Johann Ryno de Wet (Johannesburg, 1982) returns to Madrid to mesmerize us with his brand-new images. Pointed out as a young promise by the prestigious American institution Aperture Foundation and having toured in countless international exhibitions and art fairs, Ryno de Wet has proved that he is more than just a promising artist: he is a firstclass photographer with a discourse of his own and an exceptional talent. Acclaimed by collectors, curators, critics, and admirers, the consensus of the market is unanimous, something very difficult to gain.
In his new series “Shadow Valley”, he comes back to a city in which he photographs his dreams. This is not a metaphor, it is literally true and actually is what differentiates Ryno de Wet from the rest of artists. This is a gift that he employs to create images full of visual talent and disturbing mystery.
His images portrait a real but nameless city, empty, eerie, but at the same time enigmatic due to its atmospheres and half-times, with suspended and suburban places. Sometimes we play the sleepwalker and we tread a harbour or a gold mine, as if being alone in the world, the last man on the “Shadow Valley” planet. Sometimes we ride a magic flying carpet and fly over landscapes under construction and Babels like futurist skyscrapers, as if playing God.
The images of Ryno de Wet attact the viewer like a magnet. It is impossible to look away from these visions just because they catch you in their spider’s web. In Ryno de Wet’s own words “dreams are fascinating and mysterious to me and I simply want to explore this and share my fascination with people”.
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