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Ryan McGinnes was born in Virginia Beach, VA. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts, Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked as a Curatorial[…]

Ryan McGinness describes the ways he taps into his subconscious.

Question: What inspires you?Ryan McGinness:  Gosh, if I answer this like completely honestly, it’s just going to be like some corny shit, you know, it’s going to be like, I’m sincerely interested in how the mind works and in these kinds of universal timeless curiosities that man have always had essentially. 

Why are we here?

What are we doing?

What’s this all about? 

Really kind of depressing curiosities that for me have been answered through exploring psychedelics. And you can decide if you want to edit all this out or whatever, but I grow my own mushrooms and developed relationships with a lot of different plants in order to find some kind of insight and answers to those curiosities about why we’re here, and what’s this all about.

I don’t do drugs recreationally at all. I don’t just trip out and enjoy the world here. What I do is go into my own mind as deeply as possible to find answers and then come back, and I know what to do.  And I know that sounds incredibly corny, but that’s the answer and that’s why for instance, I’m trying to create work that reflects that psychedelic experience through kind of the factual-based construction of the picture plain.

And one of the things I’ve learned is to create my own world and share that with as many people as possible; understand what makes me unique and then share that and inspire others.

So maybe the answer is the desire to inspire others inspires me.

Question: Do mushrooms change your aesthetic?Ryan McGinness:  Yeah. The aesthetics are almost kind of a superficial reflection of the experience or experiences.  They are, to some degree, that aesthetic Trojan horse; the kind of psychedelic colors and compositions, I think are beautiful, but that’s not the real message, that’s not real content. That’s just the form, that’s just the beauty that brings you in.


Recorded on: Apr 29, 2009.