Ryan McNamara’s Got a New Bag



When we last saw Ryan McNamara, he was clad in silver leggings and learning hip hop dance moves on a stage erected at the top of the stairs at MoMA-PS1. This was the opening of “Greater New York,” and the artist was inaugurating a part of his performance piece, which has proceeded every day for the past four months, and will continue to run until the exhibition closes on October 18. If you haven’t already witnessed it, the work consists of Ryan practicing an element or discipline of dance-ballet, hip hop, stretching, repetition-for an hour-and-a-half each day, seven days a week, somewhere in the museum.

A lot has changed since that last time—not least of all that the very fit Ryan is in even better shape from all of the dancing. He’s been featured alongside the likes of Dakota Fanning and Marc Jacobs in the September 2010 Vogue spread entitled “On the Town,” which features the most notable cast members of New York’s upcoming Fashion’s Night Out. He is being flown to Moscow to perform at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture as part of the performance festival organized by Klaus Biesenbach in connection with the exhibition 100 Years of Performance. And he’s been asked by Louis Vuitton to blur the boundaries between fashion and art at their 57 Street flagship on Friday night, by creating a performance piece in connection with fashion week. In other words, Ryan McNamara has become an international art sensation.