Ryan Steadman's work references midcentury book cover designs.
‘The Bachelorette’ is based on the cover of a Dutch book ‘The Spiral Staircase’. He says “I was trying to get a very pure and intense ultramarine blue, it took 10 layers to get the rich darkness I wanted”. Steadman used his partner Emily Pettigrew, a fellow artist, as inspiration for the figure in the window.
‘Empire’ is based on the cover of Gibbon’s ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’. His idea was to change the colors to highlight the similarities between Ancient Rome and the current climate in the US. He says “For me, it evokes Icarus and his fall and now I see the white band as a cloud layer and the blue as the sky”.
‘The Crown’ is based on the cover of ‘The Fall of the Russian Monarchy’ by Bernard Pares. In describing this piece Steadman says “It’s a political piece about the fall of Christianity/religion as well as the state during the time of Trump. I was also thinking about the rise of art as a spiritual vehicle to replace religion. Mostly, I just wanted to paint that fire with the crown receding behind it”.