Ryan McGinley
The Power of Observation

Ryan McGinley

At age 24, artist Ryan McGinley was the youngest artist to have a solo show at The Whitney Museum of American Art and was named Photographer of the Year in 2003 by American Photo Magazine. His work has often observed young people as they let themselves go, infusing his work with a sense of release that invokes a deeper feeling of mystery and surprise. McGinley’s work began as he photographed his friends and community in the wee hours of New York City: doing drugs, making love, fighting, sleeping. He then started taking these characters out of their environment, into the American deserts and mountains, creating a natural playground for them to explore and him to capture. McGinley takes tens of thousands of images, distilling them all to a select few. Spring and By Summer Fall is the exhibition explored here and McGinley speaks about the element of fantasy, the medium of photography and the power of being an observer. He also uncurls his bottom lip to reveal a surprise.