I will probably never stop to celebrate the super phtographer Ryan McGinley, this post just to signal his upcoming exhibition in Amsterdam, Somewhere Place, at Gabriel Rolt gallery. It is his second solo exhibition in The Netherlands, following on from the 2007 exhibition at FOAM. Youth, liberation and the joy of losing yourself in the moment are elements that feature throughout Ryan McGinley’s work, from his early roots in documenting the urban adventures of his downtown Manhattan friends to his subsequent cross-country travels in utopian environments throughout America to his most recent studio portraits.
The lack of clothing and other contemporary signifiers along with the archetypical landscapes give the photos a sense of timelessness in which the viewer can project his or her own story. Over the years McGinley’s work has evolved from documenting reality toward creating settings where the situations are choreographed. Increasingly more cinematic in tone, while retaining the spontaneity of his early work.
In Life Adjustment Center (above), McGinley has incorporated black-and-white and color studio portraits of nudes and animals interacting in sometimes sweet, sometimes surprising ways. The use of animals is another facet of McGinley’s exploration of the natural world. They bring out the animalistic qualities of the nude figure, and the scratches on the bodies signify our desire to commune with nature and the excitement and risks inherent therein. If you want to know more about him, please check my previous posts here and here.