ARTIST:

Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley
Untitled (Morrissey 20), 2006
C-print
182.9 x 122 cm

Like a pied piper, Ryan McGinley leads his small tribe of exuberant, naked youth on a cross-country quest to connect with nature. Unlike Utopians, however, he has no wish to create a paradise (Everybody knows this is Nowhere is a title he gave to one body of his work): it’s already there for the taking – for those who have eyes to see and SAT NAV technology to get there (and can bring along fireworks, fog machines and iPods, too, for ambience).

Ryan McGinley
Untitled (Morrissey 15), 2006
C-print
99 x 72.4 cm

Ryan McGinley
Untitled (Morrissey 7), 2005
C-print
119.4 x 167.6 cm

Ryan McGinley
Tree #3, 2003
C-print
183 x 122 cm

McGinley allows his models freedom to follow their instincts. His lithe young companions leap and tumble, somersault and fall, splash in waterfalls, climb trees and gaze at the starlit vaults of heaven (well, perhaps lit by car headlamps). It is touching to all but the most cynical of observers (though the thought does nag that such carefree days are restricted to the moneyed and the mobile).

Ryan McGinley
Holding Hands, 2003
C-print
76.2 x 101.6 cm

Ryan McGinley
Blue Breakdown, 2009
C-print
182.9 x 274.3 cm

Ryan McGinley
Jonas (Molten), 2009
C-print
279.4 x 182.9 cm

A blend of ’60s hippy ideology and a Vogue fashion shoot (16 models, 4 assistants and 4,000 rolls of film), the heady adventure was tempered with an awareness of it all being only a brief moment of carefree abandon (after all, what is one summer in the span of a lifetime? An exhibition of the work, anticipating that perennial September question, was called I Know Where the Summer Goes).

Text by William A Ewing
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