Ryan Humphrey is an incredibly versatile artist from New York City who also happens to have a impressive stable of old school BMX bikes and memorabilia. When we did an informal “show us awesome things you’ve built” contest a while back, Ryan sent over a couple of photos. I was floored and hit him up find out more about his work.
We asked Ryan to share some photos of his creations and installations from over the years.
Queens museum exhibition. Aka Fast Forward This is the project I did with Dizz Hicks. Todd Oldham helped me get the carpet made. Erin Sickler the curator and everyone at the Queens Museum was great! Skid marks, holes in the walls, no problem. I was finally forced to assemble and cleanup all these old school bikes I had been collecting. I have probably added another 10 or so. We also installed this at The Moore College of Art and Design in Philly. Next stop is Miami in June. Then the West Coast...although I have no idea where.
In 2010 I got asked to rework two BCBG dresses for an event supporting The Whitney Museum. One I did ahead of time, and one I had to do live. The Model is Jewelry designer Pamela Love. She was great, she drank cocktails and texted people the whole time she was being filmed.
My friend needed a chicken coop for his Brooklyn backyard. We made this largely from found materials. The roof shingles are Texas license plates. Rats are an issue in New York. So I used a bed frame as the base so that the coop was up off the ground, and it is completely incased in hardware cloth instead of chicken wire.
This is a totem pole made from beer kegs. Ken from Brooklyn Machine Works helped me weld this thing together. He also helped me push it to my studio on a moving dolly. Ken rules.
RedBull Treat or Treat Jam - I was teaching at TCU in Texas and I had to fly in to paint the ramps. I made stencils ahead of time, and lost a lot of sleep. It is stressful to focus on something so intently and then have some dude fly by you on a bike testing out the course. This happened hundreds of times. Imagine playing chess in an intersection. I don’t know if was the traveling, the 20 Red Bull’s I drank, the giant gash I got on my leg from the broken anntena on the hearse, or the cold. But I was stressed out. I got up at 3am and pulled out the generator to finish the grim reaper in quiet and solitude. It was an awesome opportunity and I was psyched to do it. Hopefully they will do it again next year.
This is a storefront I did with Maschino and The Whitney Museum. The motorcycle is based on the third horseman of the Apocalypse which is Famine. I filled one of their handbags with metal spikes and built an aluminum holder for it. The rugs are dipped in black rubber, the wave painting is made from Automobile sheet metal. The walls are painted and covered with black camo fabric. I still have that damn motorcycle in my studio. It isn’t street legal and I don’t have the title.
This was from my last solo show at DCKT Contemporary. I made all the wall paneling by hand. The chandelier is made from a car rim and professionally wired. (UL Listed) The Monster truck rim and tire was abandoned at Brooklyn Machine Works, and I cut a piece of lexan for a table top. The chairs are coated in Black rubber and the arms have spikes. Paintings, spears, and mirrors are hung on top. The table is covered with record covers, bottle caps, and bottle openers.
This is a small sampling of old school bmx stuff I have collected over the years. This is the storefront of The City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have a different person’s collection in the window every month or so.
Chase the Ghost - This piece is made out at least 30 scavenged bike frames, ramp wood with tires marks on it, fabric, silkscreen etc. That is an old school shot of Dennis McCoy at the top. I was considering that intangible feeling you get from riding when making this piece. DMC has been chasing that ghost for a long, long time. I gave him a t-shirt I had made from the same screen he couldn’t have seemed less psyched. It made me feel like a dick.
This is a silk screened replica of an 80’s Lasonic boom box. I made over 100 of these in conjunction with my exhibition at Kunsthalle Galapagos in Brooklyn.
This is the first large edition I ever did. It has sold really well. I have learned all kinds of stuff form selling these on the street: Self defense gun take away techniques for example I have met retired police and FBI agents, been harassed by undercover cops, made some serious cash, freaked out some people and met some people that freaked me out.
POST bike shop in Brooklyn needed a serious face list so I stepped in. I spent a week in there painting nearly every surface. They moved out like two months later. At least I got some nice photos and whatever I need at cost.
I customized this vintage Steelcase table and four chairs for The Armory Art Fair in NYC in 2010. The top of the table is a mosaic of old skateboard decks underneath security glass. Everything metal was powder coated an insanely bright color. In the sea of black clothing that art world people wear they really stood out.
This is a Tic Tac box filled with map tacks. I wanted to make the meanest artwork ever on an intimate scale.
Tonka Winnebago skateboard - I have wanted to make this for a long time. I finally got on Ebay and bought the damn thing. Maybe it will end up in a video or something. It is like riding a cement block.
This ramp is made from 'abandoned' street signs. I may do an exhibition completely from things stolen from the public realm... Time will tell. I have lots of ideas.
Coffin '“ Death should be celebration. This casket holds a giant speaker system, centerfolds, Jack Daniels, a coffee can for ashes of the deceased, lots of stickers, and paint that Krink supplied for the show.
Check out more of Ryan’s work over at Humphrey Industries.