Toronto’s boy wonder, nee Ryan Faist, dabbles in what many would call multi-disciplinary mediums… although he’s not one who would call it that…
“I just like when I experience and feel something but don’t need to understand it.”
Creating in the forms of film, photos and music, one can find a common thread through boy wonder‘s output, which is a bit of a disjointedness, a feeling of dwelling in the fringes of any given form.
His music could be called sparse, pulling inspiration from garage rock. His 2021 album Kinda Blue Too contains bursts of short guitar-and-drum rock with gazey fever dreaminess layered in reverb. In tandem with his recordings, boy wonder put out the accompanying fear in public – a live film which incorporates a cast of surreally unique characters made up of local personalities that Faist had encountered throughout his hometown of Toronto.
Harkening to lo-fi elements that embrace the beauty of the absurd in a way not dissimilar to John Waters or Harmony Korine, Faist mentions the film scene he watched as a child that stands out to him and that would have a touch of influence throughout his later creations,
“There was a movie that I watched with my dad when I was maybe 8 or 9 or 10 and it was the first time I felt like I fell in love with someone, through a movie. I remember where I was sitting in his basement and the scene, it was a woman by a river. I have no clue what the movie was and I’d love for it to come back into my life as a meaningful coincidence. That feeling I had is what I’m chasing to put into any film that I make.”
On his leanings toward the strange, which seems to often fall on the visual side of his 16mm film camera lens, Faist says,
“I’m not really aware of things being off-kilter, I think it might just be what I find beautiful and interesting. I’m just a kid still who is curious about the human condition.”
In 2021, boy wonder teamed up with Toronto musician Loviet to create the video for her song, “Picture”, from her 777 album. The resulting visual treatise sees a single take stream-of-consciousness scene that evokes drama through its chaotic motion and movement across a large field with the last moments of daylight fading fast.
“I am in love with the shot of Joaquin Phoenix in The Master when he’s running through the farm field at dawn. It’s such a chaotic shot and I wanted to steal that. I then started to think about someone walking through a dream from A to B, but really I just wanted to create a feeling of death in a dream.”
As a creator using and incorporating the visual, the aural and the cinematic, Faist nods away from having a specific end goal, and acknowledges that the common string running through each of his works is simply to help create a feeling,
“I’m just after the initial feeling that was felt when I saw something or heard a song for the first time. I like things pure and colourful. I just like when I experience and feel something but don’t need to understand it.”
Watch and listen to boy wonder‘s work at