Riley A. Vann was born in New Mexico and grew up in Texas. After teaching college writing and literature for fifteen years, talking about the stories we tell ourselves and how those stories identify us, he became interested in the ways we mark ourselves outside of words. With the camera, he began to capture the visual signs and symbols that also tell our stories. His photography has appeared in numerous exhibitions. Riley currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Dawn, dividing his time between photography and teaching.
Riley A. Vann is the feature artist of Matt Morris's poetry collection Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand. The artist philosophy on Vann's personal website, describes his work as follows: "To steal a phrase from William Eggleston, as a photographer Riley Vann is at war with the obvious. His art engages the mundane objects of everyday life, the things that have become invisible to us, and rescues them from the background into which they vanish. This may involve more abstract studies in texture and light or a cultural anthropological 'dig,' focusing on objects that act as signposts and touchstones for a range of social values and concerns. While his subject matter may vary, all of his images strive to find the beautiful in the strange and the strange in the beautiful."
Vann's Blevio Sunday 3pm. (Morris, p. 54)
Vann's Looking Glass. (Morris, p. 59)