Ryan Weideman immortalized his New York taxi’s passengers for 30 years:
Photographer before Driver
In the 80s, Ryan Weideman settled in New York hoping he could be a photographer. In fact, as a graduate student from the California College of Arts & Crafts, he had all the assets he needed to live from his Art. Unfortunately, the cultural and artistic agitation at the time in New York made the competition even tougher than it already was. As a result, forced to find a regular job, Ryan Weideman became a taxi driver, under the recommendation of his neighbor who also was a taxi driver. Consequently, he drove through the city with his yellow cab and crossed path, on his backseat, with “human zoo”, like Allen Ginsberg said in 1990.
A large scale photographic project: “In My Taxi”
The series of unusual encounters, dealing with sometimes moving, strange, melancholic or simply photogenic characters inspired him. Effectively, Ryan Weideman first tried to photograph every single one of his customers. However, he soon realized that only some of them actually embodied his photographic intentions. Like in 1990 when he welcomed on board poet Allen Ginsberg. The author even wrote a few words on this taxi driver photographer: “Backseat New York City Taxi is a human zoo. Ryan Weideman taxi-dermist has mounted these human species with humor and boldness and precision.”
From taxis to museums: Ryan Weideman in worldwide Art collections
Currently represented by New York based Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Ryan Weideman has entered the greatest collections. With artworks at the Brooklyn Museum, as well as the Oakland Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, Ryan Weideman was also distinguished with prestigious awards. He obtained the Guggenheim Fellowship Grant in 1992. He also received the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 186. His exhibition “In My Taxi” travelled to the walls of Espronceda Gallery in Barcelona in June 2017.
Read our article about 3 Cities = 3 Exhibitions: French Landscapes, Laura Owens and Pussy Riot here.