First of all, I freaking love Ryan McGinley’s photography. His eye for composition is great, but more importantly, his photos also seem to effortlessly capture an energy and passion that are rarely seen anywhere. If I were the kind of person that no one wanted to talk to at a party I’d say, “he captures what it means to be a free spirit.” Thankfully, I’m incredibly handsome, charming, and wonderfully popular at parties, so I don’t say things like that.
It’s this lifestyle that he has on display at his show at the Team Gallery on Grand Street. “I Know Where The Summer Goes” what would go on in your head if you’ve ever wanted to take a cross-country road trip with a truckload of fireworks and all of your model buddies.
The big inspiration for this whole project came from the nudist magazines of the 1970s, which is clearly evident. The photos that he took capture the intimacy between close friends interacting with nature with no buffer whatsoever between them. Everything is just a little over exposed but there’s still the wide-eyed sense of wonderment to it all. In total he shot over 400 rolls of film and culled it down to about 50 in this show.
Ultimately, what draws me to his work is the lifestyle that he captures. I’m a sex symbol, not an art professor, so I couldn’t tell you if these are good photos or not. But the haphazard style coupled with young, cool models makes the whole thing really enjoyable.
For me, it’s all about energy, fun and excitement and less about great photographs. If you want stunning photography that you can take your parents to, go find an Annie Lebowitz show that opens soon. Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy McGinley’s show and then go home and sleep with a bunch of supermodels on a pile of money. Cha-ching!