Friday, 14 February 2014

Rob Ryan Exhibition (and MEET!)

Six years ago when I was living in London, one of my girlfriends (who was living in Paris at the time) came to visit me in London. One afternoon, she took me to the Bethnal Green boutique of her favourite artist, Rob Ryan

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. 

Colette window

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" ;)

*EVEN when you're being REALLY ANNOYING

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"

Can we? Shall we?

I miss being a little girl

Love this tile! 

LOVE this beautiful piece!

Rob Ryan arrives! 

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 


  1. Awww that's so cool you got to meet him and that he drew you a little something! I've never heard of him before but his work is quite nice. But yeah it's too bad the prints are kinda pricy :x

    And ooooo we came across that "Love Me" tag in Istanbul and photographed it! So I was surprised to see it here again, so I looked it up and apparently the artist was recently at Colette too, makes sense :)

    1. Yeah, that's what I was telling him, 6 years ago his prices were much more affordable, he was so nice, apologising for the price rises..! But yeah, I can barely afford day to day things let alone his prints haha, and yes I remember seeing that Love Me tag somewhere else, I don't know much about that artist but there was another artist doing a signing at the same time as Rob Ryan, I wonder if it was that one..

  2. That "every night at the same time..." piece made me cry Nic.
    I miss you soooooo much!
    What an honour to meet this amazing person - and that card he signed for you is too wonderful x

    1. Aren't his words just so beautiful...? Now you can understand why I would cry each time I visited his boutique in London..!! His words just speak to me in a way like no other, I miss you too...!!
      PS - I was going to keep it as a surprise but I asked him to draw a little something for you too...!! (and held up the line in doing so haha) xxx

    2. His words are amazing, just like you!
      YAY!! Thank you bestie, cant wait to see it :) xxx

  3. Looking at his online shop, the print i liked cost 850 pounds :(

    1. Yes, his work has gone up over the past few years! I will just have to be happy with a photo for now :)