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Spotlight Artist: Ryan McGinness


Ryan McGinness(born January 9th, 1972[1]) is an American artist, living and working in Manhattan, New York. Known for his original extensive vocabulary of graphic drawings which use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos, and contemporary iconography, McGinness creates paintings, sculptures, and environments. McGinness is interested in assuming the power of this anonymous aesthetic in order to share personal expressions. His work is in the permanent public collections of the Museum of Modern Art,Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego,Cincinnati Art Museum, MUSACin Spain, and the Misumi Collection in Japan.

McGinness grew up in the surf and skate culture of Virginia Beach, Virginia, an influence that is visible in much of his work.[2]He then studied atCarnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar.[citation needed]During college, he interned at the Andy Warhol Museum as a curatorial assistant.

Key Characteristics

  • Works use flattened simplified versions of images from popular culture

  • Many of his works are screen prints

  • Works often incorporate repetition and layering of images


Essential Questions

  • Read the two articles above and explore his website BEFORE answering these questions.

  • Where did he grow up? How did this influence his work?

  • How does he choose his medium for his works?

  • What is "appropriation"? What are his thoughts on Andy Warhol and "appropriation" in general?

  • Looking at his early work and later work, what has stayed the same? What has changed?



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