RYAN MCGINLEY: PHOTOGRAPHS 1999-2015
The naked ethereal opus of the hipster indie generation
by Maria Raposo
Known for photographing his band of ordinary yet beautiful free-spirited friends in idyllic landscapes, Ryan McGinley has come to symbolize the indie hipster generation. When one thinks of McGinley, slick studio productions, don't readily come to mind. Typically his photographs are made up of snap-shots of sweeping colors, nude bodies adored with tattoos and at times, bruises full of raw and graphic sexuality make-up the workings of McGinley’s signature style.
Imitated by many young photographers, McGinley has become a master artist of his generation. He’s been named Young Photographer of the Year by the International Center of Photography in 2007, and has since been called "the most important photographer in America". His latest exhibition, Photographs 1999-2015, at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, include works from every series in the photographer’s career, from the gritty snapshots of his early life in New York’s underworld of the late1990s, right up until his most recent experimental projects.
McGinley’s YEARBOOK exhibition consisted of over five hundred portraits of two nude hundred models, printed on vinyl and adhered to every available inch of the gallery’s walls and ceilings.
McGinley’s 2003 road trip to Vermont was a crucial moment in his career. While his youth fueled mischief of sex, drugs and music had been of great interest for the artist, this summer spent in the wild, with a gang of free-spirited friends, set McGinley on a definite path that celebrated youth and spontaneity, unlike the grim depictions of Nan Goldin’s Lower East Side underground or Larry Clark’s harsh exploration of a self-destructive group of youth in Tulsa.