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Ryan McGinley

Levi Strauss & Company print advertisement, 2009. Photo: Ryan McGinley.

I STARTED OUT shooting for magazines—Index and the New York Times Magazine—and Vice hired me as their photo editor when I was still in college at Parsons School of Design. Working next to artists like Tina Barney, Juergen Teller, and Wolfgang Tillmans at Index was eye-opening. That really set the stage for me to be a photographer who operated in the art world but still took on commercial and editorial projects.

In fact, some of the projects I’m proudest of are editorial and commercial assignments: my 2008 Oscars portfolio for the New York Times Magazine; contributing to the advertising history of a classic American brand like Levi’s; shooting Katy Perry’s album cover; and portraits of Beyoncé for Beat magazine. Diane Arbus has always been an idol of mine, and while she’s famous for her fine art, she started her career shooting for Glamour and Vogue and was also a very

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