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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 among a group of dedicated painters working in the contemporary allegorical realist movement.  He entered school with an inclination toward illustration but after a single painting class his dedication for painting has only continued to grow.  He began serious study of classical master works at SUNY Fredonia, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 2003.  He then entered the graduate program at the University of New Mexico where he continued exploring and developing his love for classical, figurative technique, while also pursuing teaching.  After receiving his Masters of Fine Art in 2007 he moved to Chicago where where he has cofounded and works at Sidetracked Studio with his wife Lauren Levato Coyne

While Rory has always worked in a narrative tradition, while earning his degrees the influence of myth, fable, and allegory on his work became more and more important, giving rise to a very particular kind of grandiose story telling that he pursues in his daily studio practice.




I create allegories that speak to issues of private contemporary society. The subjects are often therianthropic, or zoomorphic, figures; some animal parts morphing into the human body elegantly, while others protrude instead. They are an extension or form of the “self”, a reflection of identity – not to be confused with spirit guides or totems. The symbolisms created within my work, stem from personal experiences in day to day living, often using animals to signify emotions and reactions in relationships.  As with many myths, the characters within my work are not subject to just one gender or physicality.  We are witness to the “common” person lifting their glamour to reveal the daemon of our minds.  My works are observations and commentaries on daily living through the use of allegory. 

Recent Exhibits

Rory Coyne participated in these exhibits:

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
Jul, 2014 10th National Self Portrait Exhibition Invitational
Zhou B Art Center
Apr, 2014 Fixation
Zhou B Art Center
Mar, 2014 Artists Interpret "Last Rites"
Last Rites Gallery
Click here to see all exhibits for Rory Coyne

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