RYAN MATTHEW COHN
THE BONE COLLECTOR
We find Ryan Matthew Cohn’s skeletal world extremely intriguing. Who wouldn’t, what with all those bones and that keen, stylish eye for all things archaic? So we thought we’d jump in a cab and head over to the ODDITIES star’s magnificent place in Greenpoint Brooklyn and snap some pics of this sharply dressed gentleman. His apartment is like a museum with so many hauntingly quirky relics that are on display. After wrapping a fun afternoon of hanging out and shooting, he invited us to jump into his sleek black 1955 Thunderbird convertible for a quick spin on a beautiful New York City day, and, of course, we said YES!
PONYBOY: Ryan, please tell us where you were raised.
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: I was raised in Woodstock which is in upstate New York.
PONYBOY: When we first met you some years back you were in The Stalkers.
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: Yeah, I was the guitar player in the band.
PONYBOY: Weren’t you also a jewelry designer?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: Yes, I still do quite a lot of jewelry design. I started out as an assistant to the gentleman who was the very first jeweler to work with Ralph Lauren. I did a lot of designing and small runs for Polo, Ralph Lauren, RRL and other companies for some time. That led to the opening of Against Nature Atelier which I co-founded. The skills I learned as a jewelry maker/metalsmith have been a great addition to my current profession as an osteologist. All my metalwork for the skulls I make is done by hand. A lot of great detail and intricacy is involved in the design of my creations.
PONYBOY: And how did you get into bone collecting?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: Bone collecting came naturally to me as I have been collecting this subject matter since I was very young. I had a fascination with anatomy ever since I was a child and was originally interested in going to college for medical illustration. Somehow I got sidetracked, joined a band, and went on tour for a while. All the while I would pick up antiquities along the way. My collection comes from many years of obsessively striving to find new interesting things along my many travels.
PONYBOY: Did you ever think that you could make a living practicing your trade?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: I have always been the type of person to follow my dream and just do what I do whether that be on a professional level or doing things that bring me happiness. I have always had a good level of self-control and drive, but also the desire to learn everything that accompanies what I am doing at the time. I feel lucky that I picked a profession that was relatively unknown when I started and has now blossomed into a thriving business and lifestyle. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
PONYBOY: How did being cast on ODDITIES come about?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: Obscura (Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson) was approached by a production company called Leftfield, who is known for the show PAWN STARS. And they were interested in a show focused on our lives, business, and what we do. We basically sat in front of a camera and explained what we do on a daily basis. We really never thought we would get a call back due to how niche this subject matter is, but sure enough, a month later we got the call saying that they wanted to proceed with the first season, and then the next season, and then the next.
PONYBOY: You’ve obviously been catapulted into some kind of fame from being on television. What’s that like?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: It’s interesting to say the least. I never strived to become a TV personality; it just happened one day. I try and be nice and appreciative when people are interested in what I do. It’s been very rewarding to be able to share my knowledge.
PONYBOY: Do you get recognized on the street all the time?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: I do find it funny enough. It happens a lot at restaurants. It’s always funny and a little awkward when you find candid pictures of yourself online that you never knew were taken.
PONYBOY: With the overwhelming archive of bones, etc. that you have collected, would you ever have any interest in opening your own museum?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: I think a museum is definitely in the 5-year plan.
PONYBOY: And lastly, we are so green with envy of your mint Thunderbird. Any plans on purchasing any more classic cars?
RYAN MATTHEW COHN: Ah, yes, the Famed 55 T-bird! I think I have my eyes set on a 1960 Jaguar Xk-150. We’ll see. New York is not the best place for vintage cars.