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Rory Coyne

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Groningen, The Netherlands, EU

Birth year

Lives in
Chicago, IL

Works in
Chicago, IL


figurative, traditional, surrealism, mythology realism, realism, Portraiture surrealism, allegory painting, kitch, magic realism, arts-education, myth


Rory Coyne is a painter using personal as well as archetypal symbolism and mythology to reveal stories about contemporary relationships. He is a young master following in the steps of painters such as Mucha and Waterhouse. Coyne is one of the founders of Sidetracked Studio in Evanston, IL. He earned his MFA from the University of New Mexico in 2007 and is an occasional lecturer at various institutions such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kennesaw State University, and others. His work can be found in exhibitions across the country with a focus in Chicago and New York City.


At its core my work is about relationships, specifically what we hide from others and suppress in ourselves. Often this attempt to occult our feelings or actions is unsuccessful and only works to further complicate our relationships. My paintings are psychological revelations layered in symbolism and mythology – the truth is there, but it might also be in the shape of a snake woman or a horse-headed man. Characters glamoured with animal heads and limbs reflect the myriad reactions and emotions of abandonment, disappointment, struggle, and independence that arise from experiences of love, sex, suicide, rape, various bankruptcies and other events with life-long and life-altering impacts.

Because of my deep respect for strong, powerful women and the camaraderie I have with them, they often feature as primary characters in my paintings. Tattooed figures elaborate on the model’s personal symbolism and give insight into the archetype embodied or myth portrayed.

Recent Exhibits

Rory Coyne participated in these exhibits:

Sep, 2015 Oranges at Midnight
Sidetracked Studio
Jul, 2015 For Your Eyes Only
Sidetracked Studio
Apr, 2015 Immortality & Vulnerability
Zhou B Art Center
Oct, 2014 Panel Discussion: “To every age its art. To art its freedom.”
Galerie Fledermaus
Sep, 2014 From the Fire Pit: Glimmers
Galerie Fledermaus
Aug, 2014 Curator's Choice 10th National Self Portrait Exhibition
Zhou B Art Center
Click here to see all exhibits for Rory Coyne

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