Christopher Ryan is a conceptual portrait photographer. His work has spanned four continents and brought him into contact with people, cultures, religions, and governments from some Earth's most obscure villages to many of great metropolises on the planet. Despite an unbridled passion for international travel and occasional residences overseas, Christopher Ryan has returned to live in New Orleans for the third time in his life.
Chris's primary subject matter is youth, which has been covered in multiple on-going series such as Youth and Urban Decay, Youthful Ambition, Focus on Feet, Parent & Child Intimacy, and Bizarre Portraits. These have been in both solo and group exhibitions in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Udon Thani, Thailand, Washington DC, and at multiple venues in New Orleans.
In addition to youth, Chris also pursues an on-going adult series, Nudes in the Landscape, capturing the fully nude human body with beautiful open and natural spaces in the background. These have included vast expanses of natural beauty in Iceland, sacred Buddhist scenes in Thailand, and beautiful national parks in the USA.
Since the pandemic began Chris has partially switched his focus to self-portrait work at his studio & gallery: Arabi Visual Arts. The self-portrait work produced is influenced by the Focus on Feet series as well as some darkness felt from the isolation created by the pandemic. Nearly thirty years of experience an artist's model for painters, pastelists, bodypainters, and photographers has inspired unique self-portraits.Statement
I am thrilled to share my work from "Youth and Urban Decay" with the world, alongside many amazing photographers who share a similar passion for UrBex (Urban Exploration). I have been shooting and exploring abandoned buildings since I was a young child, and in my 30s & 40s this led to a series of nude self-portrait work in these places. The Youth and Urban Decay series came about in 2017 while living in Thailand when I photographed 11 year old Benz in the Ghost Hotel of Chiang Mai.
Through my photography, I have been blessed to meet some of the poorest people in the world. I have been welcomed into homes in the slums of India, literal shacks in the garbage dumps of Indonesia, shared a bowl of soup in homes with dirt floors, marched in a marriage equality demonstration in Taiwan, and much more. I welcome the chance to meet real people when I travel and am repelled by traditional hotels, resorts, and tourist attractions.
Most of my work focuses on children and youth and my long term goal is to produce a book of my work that will at first give them impression of the vast differences in cultural, national, and ethnical groups throughout the world, but eventually the viewer/reader will notice the similarities more than the differences.
I am equally interested in shooting children and teens who are drug dealers, addicts, and sex workers as I am those who are athletes, models, and academics. I have been greatly inspired by all of the kids, parents, teachers, and coaches I have met producing my work in over 20 countries since 2015.
Most of my work can be found at christopherryan.com