May 12, 2023

Artist to Watch


Portrait of Dylan Rose Rheingold in her studio, photographed by Ellen Lee.

Nicole: So when did you first begin to paint and what drew you to be an artist? 

Dylan: I don’t remember if there was a specific instance when I realized I wanted to be an artist. I’ve always been painting and drawing, and both of my grandmothers were artists or creatives in some ways so from a very early age I was always encouraged to use my hands. When I was younger I had some anxiety struggles and I think a big outlet for myself, that was encouraged by my family, was drawing. Drawing was always just very natural, it simply stuck with me and I can’t imagine my day-to-day without it. A lot of artists that I talk to, they say I didn’t have a choice, and this is who I am, although it sounds almost corny saying it out loud, but it’s very much true.

Dylan Rose Rheingold, Cloud Nine, 2023. Acrylic, oil stick, china marker, spray paint on canvas, 60 x 70 inches.

Nicole: So could you tell us about the storytelling narrative aspect in your work? 

Dylan: In terms of the storytelling aspect I’m working with a narrative that’s non linear. When people are looking at my work, and also when I’m making the work, I like to think of all of the paintings in dialogue with each other. It’s hard for me to pick apart or speak to only one painting in series. The reason I like working in series and working on multiple pieces in unison is because I like to see how they interact and talk to each other. What’s also interesting to me in terms of the narrative is this aspect of self discovery, thinking about my identity and taking a look at girlhood. I’m interested in the transitional space between girlhood to womanhood, or even in a broader sense, childhood to adulthood. 

Dylan Rose Rheingold, Fairest of the Fair She Is, 2023. Acrylic, oil stick, pastel, marker on canvas, 65 x 65 inches. 

Nicole: How is the process of painting and the use of mixed media related to this narrative?

Dylan: The first time I did a mixed media painting was when I was studying painting and screenprinting a couple years ago in Florence. Before that I studied illustration, so I was learning and going through an education that was focused on mastering the traditional skills before you could move on and come up with your own style. I had a really hard time with this more traditional education and got into a lot of altercations with my professors in my undergrad because I really didn’t like that way of learning. I’m grateful for having those skills mastered now, but it was really frustrating at the time. 

Before that, I was never using mixed media because it wasn’t the traditional thing to do, and it wasn’t until Grad school, after that semester in Italy, when I started thinking about all of the layers I was trying to address through painting and how that fell hand in hand within my own narrative. Speaking as someone who comes from a mixed background in terms of race and religion, I think it also naturally evolved into pulling all these different materials together and layering, and layering, and building these pieces without realizing at the time the connection it had with who I am and my background. I also love mixing materials that are a bit more traditional or high end with things that you wouldn’t expect, and that speaks to the parallels of adolescents and the coming of age. I have on my desk these packs of sparkles or glitter that I’m mixing with these expensive oil sticks and navigating how they can work together and what emotions that can evoke: It’s the girlhood and the womanhood in one.

Dylan Rose Rheingold, The Tea Party, 2023. Acrylic, sumi ink, marker, charcoal on canvas, 60 x 72 inches. 

Nicole: What do you have pinned to your walls and what books do you have open right now? 

Dylan: I have a lot of drawings currently pinned or taped to my walls, and all of these start off in the automatic drawing or automatic writing, surrealist automatism manner. So I’m not trying to think about it and I’m just trying to let the subconscious sink in. What I believe is successful is that they give off a dreamscape and surreal feel to them while also speaking of the narratives I’m interested in. 

The books that I have open at the moment are Katherine Bradford, Rita Ackermann, Cy Twombly, David Humphrey, and a Tracey Emin book. 

Nicole: The expressive line across all of them, you can see how that transgresses into your work. 

Dylan: Thank you, that’s a big compliment! Also there’s Philip Guston, I feel like a lot of people have been looking at him recently, but he’s like my everything.

Dylan Rose Rheingold, On a Horse with No Name, 2023. Acrylic, oil stick, spray paint, latex paint on canvas, 57 x 71 inches. 

Nicole: So tell us what are some of your upcoming projects or exhibitions that you’re excited about.  

Dylan: I’m very excited about my solo show at T293 Gallery in Rome opening May 11th through June 1st.  The show will be taking form with eight large scale mixed media paintings and six wood panel studies that are also mixed media. These studies aren’t really traditional studies because they don’t look like an underpainting or an outline for any of the large scale works. There’s a layover between the objects and the symbolisms throughout those drawings and I think if you take your time and really look at the group together, you’ll find that there’s a lot of crossover with the larger works. After this show in Rome, I’m preparing for a solo show in the winter at M + B Gallery in Los Angeles.