Having been nearly robbed by monkeys on a mountain in the Sichuan province of China, documenting the claimed location of the Ark of the Covenant in Aksum Ethiopia, and photographing the rituals of Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala, Ryann Cooley has many stories to share. He says that his travels as a documentary photographer to over 50 countries have helped shape his ideas. Additionally, his years of advertising and editorial work in New York City – with clients including American Express, Intel, InStyle, and Vibe magazine – further refined his skills. In his current practice, Cooley classifies himself as a conceptual artist and educator working in a blend of mediums challenging the boundaries of photography. His work – which includes photography, mixed-media, sculpture, and immersive installations – exists on the fringe of photography, examining the relationship between a viewer and the image.
Ryann Cooley graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA, and received his MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, NY. Cooley is the Chair of the Department of Art at Houghton College in Western New York.