Ryan Chesla

Ryan Chesla

San Francisco, CA, United States

About Ryan Chesla

Ryan Chesla (°1971, Munich, Germany) makes photos, sculptures and mixed media artworks. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, Chesla seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.

His photos establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By emphasizing aesthetics, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.

His works are characterized by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, he investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.

His works sometimes radiate a cold and latent alienation and isolation. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning.

Ryan Chesla lives, works, and plays in Palm Springs, California. He earned his master of fine arts degree from Seattle University in 2015.


2013 - 2015, Master of Fine Arts, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington

2013, Encaustic Photography, The Photography Center NW, Seattle, Washington

2012 - 2010, Bachelors of Arts, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

2010 - 2008, Associate of Arts, Seattle Central College, Seattle, Washington


Contributing board member and officer of Palm Springs Art Museum' Artists Council Board of Directors.


Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 - Palm Springs Art Museum, Metamorphosis, March 2019 through April 2019, Palm Desert, California

2019 - Vachon Gallery, Courageous Arts Leadership in Turbulent Times, Seattle, Washington

2018 - Stephen Baumbach Studio & Gallery, 1st Annual Palm Springs Photography Exhibition, May 2018, Palm Springs, California

2018 - Fusion Gallery, 2nd Annual International Juried Black & White Art Exhibition, May 2018, Palm Springs, California

2018 - Fusion Gallery, 3rd Annual International Juried Landscapes Art Exhibition, April 2018, Palm Springs, California

2018 - University of California, Riverside, University of California, Riverside & Palm Springs Art Museum's Artists Council Exhibition, Palm Desert, California

2018 - Desert Art Center, 2018 Palm Springs Annual Juried Art Show, Bold & Bright, Palm Springs, California

2017 - 2018 - Art Is, Inc. Gallery, Daily Observations: California Selections, Palm Desert, California

2017 - Palm Springs Art Museum, 48th Annual Juried Artists Council Exhibit, Palm Springs, California

2017 - Terry Hastings Gallery/University of California, Riverside, Salton Sea: An Artistic Discussion, Palm Desert, California

2017 - Fusion Art, Black & White International Juried Art Exhibition, Palm Springs California

2017 - University of California, Riverside, UCR/Palm Springs Museum Artist Council: Artistic Expressions of the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert, California

2017 - Desert Art Center, 2017 Palm Springs 18th Annual Juried Art Show, Palm Springs, California

2017 - Kinsey Gallery, [RE] Connect, Seattle, Washington

2016 - Palm Springs Art Museum, Open Desert: Music & Photographic Arts Showcase, Palm Springs, California

2015 - Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council Exhibit. Cambria Gallery, Palm Springs, California

2014 - In Your Face, A Collaborative Installation, Hedreen Gallery, Seattle Washington

2012 - Exhibition II: A Photography Show, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

2011 - Exhibition: A Photography Show, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

2010 - Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery Student Invitational, Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery, Seattle Washington

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 - 2019 - CGC Gallery, Observations: An Encore, Palm Desert, California

2018 - Evzin, "Observations," Palm Springs, California

2018 - Palm Springs Modernism Week, 2018 West Elm Design House: The Pool House, The Big Reveal, Palm Springs, California

2017 - 2018 - Karizma Design & Decor, Observations, Cathedral City, California

2017 - 2018 - CGC Gallery, Observations, Palm Desert, California

2011 - Pura Vida & Pura Realidad, Aria, Seattle, Washington

2010 - Pura Vida & Pura Realidad, Poco, Seattle, Washington

2010 - Shades of the Northwest, Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at the SCCC’s Presidents Office, Seattle, Washington

Films & Publications

2017 - Observations: Volume One, Palm Springs, California

2013 - Cooper’s Pack Seattle – Otter Crossing, Short Film, Seattle, Washington

2013 - Cooper’s Pack Travel Guide to Paris, Book, Seattle, Washington

2012 - Click, Quarterly Zine-Summer, Seattle, Washington

2011 - Cooper’s Pack Travel Guide to Alaska, Book, Seattle, Washington