Ryan McGinley

     

“The skateboarders, musicians, graffiti artists and gay people in Mr. McGinley’s early work ‘know what it means to be photographed,’ said Sylvia Wolf, the former curator of photography at the Whitney, who organized his show there. “His subjects are performing for the camera and exploring themselves with an acute self-awareness that is decidedly contemporary. They are savvy about visual culture, acutely aware of how identity can be not only communicated but created. They are willing collaborators.”

“People fall in love with McGinleyʼs work because it tells a story about liberation and hedonism: Where Goldin and Larry Clark were saying something painful and anxiety producing about Kids and what happens when they take drugs and have sex in an ungoverned urban underworld, McGinley started out announcing that “The Kids Are Alright,” fantastic, really, and suggested that a gleeful, unfettered subculture was just around the corner—’still’—if only you knew where to look.” “Like his earliest works these images were documentary. He was a fly on the wall. But then he began to direct the activities, photographing his subjects in a cinema-verite mode. “I got to the point where I couldn’t wait for the pictures to happen anymore,” he said. “I was wasting time, and so I started making pictures happen. It borders between being set up or really happening. There’s that fine line.” “Photography is about freezing a moment in time; McGinley’s is about freezing a stage in a lifetime. Young and beautiful is as fleeting as a camera snap–and thus all the more worth preserving.” Ariel Levy – nymag.com

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