So happy that Ryan agreed to MULL IT OVER.
JONATHAN CHERRY: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
RYAN PFLUGER: I want to say it’s my drive to work and accomplish things everyday, but it’s not. It’s my dog. She wakes me up on cue every single day, and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
JC: Any emerging artists inspiring you at the moment?
RP: I still consider myself an emerging artist. I have been around the block a bit, but there is always more to learn, more people to meet and so on. I’m really inspired by my peers, and their genuine drive to push themselves as artists. Daniel Shea, Jake Stangel, Emiliano Granado, Christopher Schreck, Rick Yribe and Benjamin Fredrickson just to name a few.
JC: What is Portraits in the Park all about and what inspired you to do it?
RP: Portraits in the Park is my latest personal project, and the first I’ve completely devoted myself to, since my MFA thesis. My work has always been about my relationship with my subjects and our intimate interactions. I wanted to challenge myself and also make a commentary on portraiture and place, by photographing in a public place people gather in. The series took place in four different parks in NYC, yet shot in the exact same way with the only changes being that of daylight throughout the day. I just set up shop and allowed anyone who was willing to sit for a portrait. This project is also definitely about the quantity … an archetype of these people I’ve collected.
JC: Tell us a little bit about how you manage to juggle personal & commercial work?
RP: It’s definitely a juggle. Doing editorial and commercial work allows me to have the money to make personal work. Yet, working all the time makes it difficult to have the time to make personal work. The main thing is that I never compromise who I am as an artist and I always make the time for both.
JC: What has the rest of 2011 got in store for you?
RP: Well, I can’t believe there is so little left of 2011! I will finish editing the Portraits in the Park series, and put out 2 more volumes of zines related to it. I will also be starting a kickstarter to raise funds for the book I’m putting together of it. I’ll also be doing my first cross-country photographs right after christmas.
JC: What one piece of advice would you give to recent photography graduates?
RP: Never stop shooting and always find a reason to shoot. Photography students have the tendency to talk about all their great ideas, but don’t follow through enough. Work through your ideas by making new work. Challenge yourself at all times and always get input from your peers.
JC: Favourite breakfast food?
RP: Coffee and granola. It’s how I start almost every morning.