From the Publisher
"We just snagged an advance copy of Ryan McGinness’ book...McGinness successfully bridges the worlds of art and design in the beautifully composed Works." ~Juxtapoz
"If you're obsessed with the artist/designer Ryan McGinness, maybe even to the stalking point, this is the book for you..." ~I.D. Magazine
"Next comes the concurrent presentation of a major exhibition of his latest paintings and sculptures at Deitch Projects, and a volume of his hybridized graphic-art achievements taken from the past three years (Rizzoli) both aptly titled Ryan McGinness Works." ~Paper Magazine
"This definitive collection of Ryan McGinness Works. (Rizzoli New York) technicolor wizardry will leave you speechless - wanting more! " ~LePetiteChic.com
"It's difficult for a monograph to strike a balance between ends and means, but this one does it pretty well." ~Thumb.com
"...His new retrospective, Works (Rizzoli), is as viewer-friendly as the early art that made him famous." ~Details Magazine
"... [the book] catalogues his out put...Intricate, mathematical, and modern." ~Gotham Magazine
"Ryan McGinness has been drinking some special water. He's been in and in and in. This is his new book on the Rizzoli label." ~Giant Robot
"...It's Magnificent. And I do mean that ‘Magnificent’ with the tone of some twill-vest wearing Englishman adjusting his monacle and sitting up to take notice - it’s awesome. While filled with excellent images of Ryan’s work and a smattering of high-profile commentaries and interviews..." ~Blacklodges.com
"Ryan McGinness seems to make his art in all media. He's a graphic designer, painter, printmaker, skateboard designer, logo maker, environmental signologist, identity strategist and button maker... [This book] contains a short but illuminating interview (by the artist Peter Halley), a breathless insider's essay by a former assistant (Greg Lindquist), an indulgent conversation between McGinness and David Byrne, a serious study of McGinness's 'ontology of color' (by Jonathan T.D. Neil) and another Q. and A., consisting of 500 speed questions (asked by Tom Greenwood, a neighboor of McGinness's in Chinatown)... This is not McGinness's first monograph, but it is the one I will pore over more than once." ~New York Times Book Review
In short, the book is typical of career catalogs that jam everything in, presuming the world will end before the next monograph. And yet, as overdesigned as the book is, it is appropriate for an artist who has crammed a lifetime of aggressively colorful and subversively political work into his 38 years. Actually, this is not McGinness's first monograph, but it is the one I will pore over more than once.
The New York Times
Read an Excerpt
Ryan McGinness: I’m trying to work toward creating total environments. When I close my eyes, I feel like I’m swimming in my own world, and I want to create that same kind of total immersion for others (how can I invite people into my head?). So yes, when I’m conceptualizing an exhibition, I’m trying to figure out how I can control the entire experience–how I can extend the world in my head to the real world, and those extensions are always morphing into different forms depending on what each part wants to be. As a result, the environment/work includes everything down to the bottles of water. I always assumed that this desire to share one’s world with others is at the core of all artists’ work. Is it the same for you?
David Byrne: Tentatively. I assume if something moves me that I have enough in common with others that maybe the experience will translate. It often does, but just as often something gets lost or skewed in the translation. I then ask myself how I can fix that. I realize there, in that gap, is where the skill lies these days–not in traditional artisanship, but in achieving a successful transmission.
RM: Which is to say that in this age of information artists need communication and transmission skills more than anything. Many of your works on paper are sketches, plans, or ideas for what I imagine could be more finished or realized works, but perhaps you don’t find it necessary to further formalize those ideas. At what point is an expression expressed or most fully expressed?
DB: I could ask you the exact same question. I was in school when a lot of the conceptual artists were doing work that was in the form of a text or series of instructions. Art was thought of as mainly an idea, and eventually we saw a whole group of artists who felt they didn’t have to realize or manifest the idea physically– the dealers probably were tearing their hair out. For me, there’s something immediate in your preliminary sketches for the icons–most people would assume they were all computer generated, and yet, here they are as drawings! I sense that, for you, part of the content of those lines and shapes is that they approach the cool look of mass-produced signage and logos–that because flatness and slickness are part of the content, leaving them as sketches wouldn’t work.
RM: You’re absolutely right; that is the idea. Furthermore, I find myself standing in opposition to what appears to be lazy or effortless work. I have to go through this process of sketching, resketching, tweaking, developing, and reworking my drawings. I also take a sort of blue-collar pride in working hard to make something presentable and as perfect as I can. Still, I know what you mean about those sketches, and I agree. There is something immediate about them… I have been enlarging them onto the gallery wall to create a place in which to locate my paintings in an exhibition, and even using them as the ingredients for some prints. Just last week someone was in the studio and made the same observation as you–he liked the sketches and was curious about what would happen if the work stopped there. The sketches, for me, are only part of the process, a means to an end. But still, if the means were the end…
~An excerpt of a conversation between Ryan McGinness and David Byrne from Ryan McGinness Works