Ryan McGinley started taking photographs in the late 1990s. His first pictures were “visual diaries” in the tradition of Nan Goldin, showing his friends partying, spraying graffitis, doing drugs and having sex. He became one of the most important photographers of the VICE magazine, and his work was shown at a much acclaimed exhibition in an important New York museum. Surprisingly, Ryan McGinley took a whole new direction afterwards. He stopped taking pictures of his downtown friends, and he left the city for the nature.
Together with some models and friends, he started going on long road trips in the summer. These trips took them throughout the whole U.S., always in search of extraordinary locations. The pictures he took out there in the nature create an utopia, the vision of a free and independent life.
“My photographs are a celebration of life, fun and the beautiful. They are a world that doesn’t exist. A fantasy. Freedom is real. There are no rules. The life I wish I was living” – this is how Ryan McGinley describes it. And indeed: In his best pictures, he captures life in its most beautiful, happy, free and sensual moments.
Finally, Ryan McGinley’s photographs have been published in a retrospective monograph. For the book You and I by Twin Palms Publishers, the artist has selected his favourite pictures from a decade of work. Check out a preview after the jump.