You & I.
Photographs by Ryan McGinley.
Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, 2011. 96 pp., 55 color illustrations, 11x13".
Ryan McGinley makes large-scale color photographs of his friends, a group that forms part of New York’s Lower East Side youth culture. He uses photography to break down barriers between public and private spheres of activity. His subjects are willing collaborators: drawn from skateboard, music, and graffiti subcultures, they perform for the camera and expose themselves with a frank self-awareness that is distinctly contemporary. The results form a portrait of a generation that is savvy about visual culture and acutely aware of how identity can be communicated through photography.
McGinley’s newest work signals a departure from the urban youth culture images for which he is best known; he has been working in natural settings outside New York City, creating specific situations for his subjects to lose themselves in the moment. McGinley embraces nature as a site of freedom and captures a sense of buoyancy and release.