3 Questions with Ryan Humphrey, Artist, BMXer, Total Badass, Great Friend!!

ryan1

I first met Ryan in 2009 at the Queens International 4 (Queens Museum of Art).  He had created Fast Forward, a blockbuster show that tapped his BMX roots.  It was one of the most fun, immersive and high energy art experiences ever.  Coincidentally, I was working on a project for the X-Games and I had seen an interview with Ryan on ESPN.com. I got in touch with him (God only knows what he thought when I emailed him totally out of the blue – but he was a good sport and met me at Dutch Kills Bar in LIC arriving on his BMX of course).  I am happy to report that we’ve been great friends since.  I love Ryan’s work – it’s reckless and masculine and beautiful.  And he’s also very cheeky (thanks for the butt plug sculpture that I displayed proudly until someone pointed out what it was!!).  Ryan has recently reclaimed his roots in Ashtabula, Ohio, buying a huge studio and producing an amazingly creative new body of work.  So here we go with Ryan’s 3 Questions…

1. 3 FAVORITE GALLERIES

It is difficult to narrow it down to just three, but some of my favorites are Marian Goodman, Paul Kasmin, and David Zwirner – the recent Marcel Dzama show was the best thing I have seen in years. It made me fall in love with art all over again.

ryanart

art1

2. 3 BRANDS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT

I could easily list 10, but here are 3:  Adidas sneakers, Plutonium Spray Paint, and Toyota Trucks

ryan2

Adidas. They are fly, and you can climb a fence in them. Utility and style. (Based on photos, I can vouch that Ryan only wears Adidas!)

Ryan_espn

Plutonium Spray Paint. Made in Detroit.

10747857_706430702778900_212340622_n

3. WHAT’S NEW IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD (IN OHIO!) THAT I SHOULD ABSOLUTELY CHECK OUT

IMG_3616

Rennick Meat Market is right down the street from my studio, The owners are from NYC and this place could be on any cool block in Brooklyn.

MORE EXAMPLES OF RYAN’S WORK (I am obsessed by his installations – so cool!!)

humphreyduchamp

Fast Forward, at Moore College of Art & Design featured 30 BMX bikes, ramps, and a giant bike-themed rug. The exhibition’s opening reception had a bunch of guys jamming inside the museum. They had a grind box, wall ride, and wedge ramp.

267

Ryan Humphrey’s Fast Forward at Queens International 4 at The Queens Museum of Art

Foto0570

“Look for the dream that keeps coming back”, Art Galapagos, Brooklyn 2010 Photo via Lilly now

ryan-humphrey-fast-forward-hollywood

Ryan Humphrey during his Fast Forward Show

img_0676-1024x768

Fast Forward, at Moore College of Art & Design featured 30 BMX bikes, ramps, and a giant bike-themed rug. The exhibition’s opening reception had a bunch of guys jamming inside the museum. They had a grind box, wall ride, and wedge ramp.

Article content: http://zandlicious.com/3-questions-with-ryan-humphrey-artist-bmxer-and-totally-badass/

Hellbent & Humphrey: Mixtapes and Ghetto Blasters

boom

OPENING: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 FROM 6PM – 9PM
ON VIEW: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2014
LOCATED: 111 FRONT STREET #226, BROOKLYN NY 11201

Folioleaf is pleased to present a two-person exhibition: “Hellbent & Humphrey: Mixtapes and Ghetto Blasters.” For this show, Folioleaf will be publishing new editions by Hellbent titled Mix Tapes—hand-painted die-cut abstraction in the saturated patterned style the artists has become known for. Humphrey is represented by his edition of full-scale wood and silkscreened reproductions of 1980s era boom box, titled Ghetto Blasters.

Hellbent & Humphrey: Mixtapes and Ghetto Blasters (Brooklyn, NY)

OPENING: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 FROM 6PM – 9PM
ON VIEW: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2014
LOCATED: 111 FRONT STREET #226, BROOKLYN NY 11201

Folioleaf is pleased to present a two-person exhibition: “Hellbent & Humphrey: Mixtapes and Ghetto Blasters.” For this show, Folioleaf will be publishing new editions by Hellbent titled Mix Tapes—hand-painted die-cut abstraction in the saturated patterned style the artists has become known for. Humphrey is represented by his edition of full-scale wood and silkscreened reproductions of 1980s era boom box, titled Ghetto Blasters.

boom

The artists are thematically united by their interest in the influence of music and music based subcultures. Though emerging from different backgrounds (Hellbent started as a street artists in the Deep South; Humphrey grew up deeply immersed in the subcultures of BMX bicycling, and skateboarding) and using distinctly different mediums (sculpture and spray paint), the two artists are driven by remarkably similar concerns. Devoted to their working process and the physicality of natural form, they each have developed pure, stripped down and somewhat rebellious styles derived from difficult-to-control materials. Hellbent is well-known for saturated works of stenciled pattern and haphazard bands of color. Humphrey is recognized for his masculine, high energy collage, sculpture and installation based works, which either depict or are made directly from objects like car hoods, BMX parts, ACDC vinyls or 80s skateboards.

boombox

 

Hellbent got his start wheat pasting confrontational slogans around the Deep South of the United States. After moving to New York in 2000 he ventured further into street based art, this time period as he refers to as just “doodles.”  In 2005, he adopted the name Hellbent from Richard Hell, the influential instigator of punk in the 1970s and began spreading his name on the street. Hellbent began experimenting with various media—wheat paste, rollers, cans, and stickers—but soon settled on making hand carved plaques that he would screw or glue around town, satisfying a desire to incorporate a folk element into recognizable urban art. Hellbent began carving predatory animals and jawbones on wood and using floral stencils to soften the force of attacking creatures. In his recent work these floral backgrounds have eclipsed the central animal and jawbone figures and become elaborate abstract fields of color and movement. Their configurations veering from organized quilt patterns to completely haphazard bands of color weaving throughout them selves.  He has dubbed this series of work “Mix Tape” as his initial sketches for later paintings were made from the tape he used to mask off sections and contained overspray of the different patterns he was using. His plaques and recent abstract murals can be found throughout New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Zurich, Glasgow, and Paris, as well as in the books Street Art New York (Prestel 2010), Graffiti New York (Abhrams, 2009), and Outdoor Gallery, New York City (Gingko, 2013).

Ryan Humphrey grew up in a small town in Ohio building things in his yard, riding BMX bikes and skateboarding. After high school he was a Freestyle BMX instructor at Woodward BMX Training Center. He then moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the next three years to work at The Carnegie Museum of Art and obtain a commercial art degree where he developed an interest in contemporary fine art. This inspired him (along with a scholarship) to attend Ohio University where he earned his BFA in Sculpture.  After moving to New York City he received his MFA from Hunter College, paying his way through school by working at The Dia Center for the Arts. After attending The Skowhegan summer residency program in Maine he worked for The Andy Warhol Foundation and participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. He was also a contestant on Season One of Bravo’s Top Design. He has exhibited extensively. He currently lives and works in New York City.

art