The term Bodega is often used as a slang word referring to a convenience store. Bodega’s typically provide a wide range of services/products in the marginal areas of cities and often times share many common characteristics: poor organization and display, aesthetically unappealing design via overwhelming vinyl storefronts, copy and fax machines, masses of random useless consumable objects, cheap alcohol, single cigarettes, marajuana, expired food stuffs, and late hours. The “convenience” factor of bodegas exceeds that of a corporate variety store as these businesses provide customers with things they would not find elsewhere.
Ryan’s fascination with the decor and multiple odd services offered at these types of establishments began while spending extended amounts of time staying and living in various neighborhoods in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and New York. The low brow design (anti design) and stunningly resourceful tactics used by Bodega proprietors are the primary sources of inspiration for this project, along with a group of like minded peers who’ve worked together to recreate a physical retail environment typical of a low-income neighborhood’s local bodega with exciting conceptual purposes.
Ryry’s is a fully functioning copy shop and convenience store that was designed and built by some of Vancouver’s most notable artists. Customers of Ryry’s will be able to buy everyday useful items that have been redesigned and re-purposed into inexpensive, limited pieces of art: custom vinyl applied BIC products (such as lighters, ball point pens), custom designed ashtrays, corrugated plastic and vinyl design posters, independent publications and other printed matter, key chains, iPhone cases, stationary supplies and more. Candy and many other desirable items are displayed alongside a variety of contemporary art pieces as decoration. The direction of the space is limitless making the overall feeling of the store that of a real bodega, but this intentional “anti design” aesthetic plays a crucial part in showing the playful and creative capabilities of the designers.
Do you like fresh sour keys? How fresh do you like them? Hopefully as fresh as I do, enjoying your favorite color of a fresh $0.25 sour key is only one of the many things you will be able to do as a patron of Ryry’s. Wanna come print your new fly boy zine? Yeah you do, so come on down and see a Risograph pop copy’s off like a mobster boss. Things are always funky fresh @ Ryry’s, so if you wanna be the most funky fly person each and every day, put your good vibes shoes on and take a walk into the cool zone.
“You got it, we want it”
Ryan Smith (1985) lives and works in Vancouver, BC.
Has shown art in group shows in Canada and the USA.