the great "lost" artist, ryan larkin.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ryan Larkin (b. July 31, 1943, Montreal, Quebec - d. February 14, 2007, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec) was a Canadian animator who rose to fame with the psychedelic 1969 Oscar-nominated short Walking and the acclaimed Street Musique (1972) who was the subject of the Oscar-winning film Ryan.
At the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Ryan learned animation techniques from the ground-breaking and award-winning animator, Norman McLaren. He made two acclaimed short animated films, Cityscape and Syrinx, before going on to create Walking and Street Musique.
He also contributed art work and animation effects to NFB films including the 1974 feature Running Time, directed by Mort Ransen, in which Ryan also played three bit parts.
Ryan left the NFB in the late 1970s.
Ryan Larkin's father was an airline mechanic. Ryan Larkin had attended the Art School of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts where he studied under Arthur Lismer (a member of the Group of Seven) before working at the National Film Board of Canada from the early 1960s until 1978.
In recent years Ryan was plagued by a downward spiral of drug abuse, alcoholism and homelessness, but recently found himself back in the limelight when a 14-minute computer-animated documentary on his life, Ryan by fellow Canadian animator Chris Landreth, won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film and screened to acclaim at film festivals around the world. Alter Egos (2004), directed by Laurence Green, is a documentary about the making of Ryan that includes interviews with both Larkin and Chris Landreth as well as with various people who knew Ryan at the peak of his own success.
Starting in 2003, Larkin had been working with composer Laurie Gordon of the band Chiwawa on a new animated film entitled Spare Change (his first in decades). Together they formed Spare Change Productions and were seeking funding for the film through Gordon's production company MusiVision. They received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec but were still short of financing. MusiVision and the National Film Board are working in co-production and will finish the animation in the summer of 2008. Spare Change will feature at least one Chiwawa tune for which Larkin created storyboards and animation, including Do It For Me from the 2005 release Bright. MusiVision is also producing a documentary about Ryan's final years. Larkin, who had panhandled outside Montreal Schwartz's deli, also appeared in a documentary on the famous restaurant, Chez Schwartz, directed by Garry Beitel
In December 2006, Larkin created three five-second bumpers for MTV in Canada, a preview to Spare Change. Larkin said that he had given up some bad habits, including drinking, in order to better focus on his animating career.
Ryan Larkin died in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec on February 14, 2007 from lung cancer which had spread to his brain.