We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Paul Ryan Yeah the boys, Wollongong boys

oil on linen

138.5 x 123 cm

This painting is from a new series Yeah the boys. My son Jaya told me of a train ride a few years back from Wollongong to Kiama. A bunch of young men boarded at Dapto. For the whole duration of their journey they chanted ‘yeah the boyyyyyzzzz’.

Yeah the boys is a rallying cry for young men who maybe feel left behind in a fast-changing world. A world of #MeToo and falling employment in a city built on coal mining and steelmaking. A world of rapidly changing demographics. This is a painting about tribalism. It’s also a homage to vintage Adidas wear.

Paul Ryan, 2019