It was love at first sight. I instantly fell in love with his work and even after my girlfriend returned back to Paris, I would go to his Columbia Road boutique on my own and look at his work and spontaneously start to cry (in a good way, and sometimes in a sad way, but always sad in a good way if that makes sense..!). I always left the store feeling emotional, having been moved to tears by his artwork. The staff who worked there were wonderful and when I embarrassingly apologised they told me it was okay, it happened often enough and that I was definitely not the first one haha!
So when I found out Rob Ryan was having an exhibition in Paris and a book signing session, I was over the moon! OMG I was going to meet Rob Ryan!!
I arrived at Colette (a 740 sqm quirky/trendy accessory/clothing store that also sells electronics, music, books, beauty products, giftware, and also houses an exhibition space and a "water bar") an hour before Rob Ryan was due to appear. I used that time wisely and efficiently to get adequately nervous about meeting him in real life.
You see, I don't "meet people" well in real life. The last time I met someone 'famous' was my favourite comedian Danny Bhoy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005. All I could stammer in my starstruck state was "OMG, Hi! Um, I think you're .... really funny...", yeah smooth Nhan. Real smooth Nhan.
While waiting for Rob Ryan, I checked out Hello Kitty 40th Birthday themed water bar (which apparently serves 100 types of bottled water).
And I saw this on display for Valentine's Day. Although I feel the word "except" should really be replaced by the word "EVEN" ;)
Okay, so on to the exhibition. Some of my favourite Rob Ryan pieces. Alright, I'll admit, I loved them all. But I couldn't have this blog post go on forever (oh wait, it will anyway.. oops).
One of my all time Rob Ryan favourites:
"Can we? Shall we? One day very soon. Let us go away together. Just you and me. Can we? Shall we? Call in sick one day and travel to the sea and hold hands all day. Can we? Shall we? Eat our sandwiches on the train. Get drunk on fresh air and come home tired. And never tell anyone...EVER"
Love this tile!
Rob Ryan is really really really lovely. Down to earth, funny (in that British way!) and so humble. Apparently he even lived in Adelaide for a year when he was 7! We chatted while I held up the line (I told him that I was sorry but I did wait for an hour beforehand). We laughed as I told him about how I used to go into his boutique and cry (in a good way!). And when I jokingly told him that his prices used to be better, he replied in that apologetic British accent and said "I'm reeeeally sorry about that, really!", we chuckled some more and I told him it was ok, that I had already bought some of his merchandise six years ago before the prices had risen.
We laughed some more as he personally illustrated the 4€ card I could afford to buy. His books were all back home in Australia I explained! To which he replied, "oh that doesn't matter at all, I'll sign anything, really!".
What a nice guy.
Rob Ryan Exhibition (until February 22nd)
213 rue Saint Honoré
Métro Tuileries / Pyramides