Ryan Humphrey

American, born 1971

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Ryan Humphrey

American, born 1971

Ryan Humphrey cites Evel Knievel and Eddie Van Halen as his two biggest influences—which makes perfect sense the moment you set foot in one of his immersive installations. Humphrey’s practice finds its roots in BMX and skateboard culture, which he became saturated in while growing up in Ohio, but after a few years of teaching freestyle BMX, Humphrey followed his true passion for art. Working in and studying at a range of top arts institutions in the Northeast (and competing as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Design reality TV show), the artist arrived at his signature brand of installation, which fuses found objects and a range of mediums and interactive elements. In his best known work, Fast Forward (2009), shown at the Queens Museum of Art, Humphrey built several BMX ramps, which he displayed alongside custom bikes and a wall full of trophies. Similar installations have also featured music and assemblage in various forms, and he frequently incorporates wry art historical references—drip paintings in the vein of Jackson Pollock, or totemic found objects sculptures that nod to Constantin Brancusi.

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