Ryan McGinley, born in 1977, was a child of his time. He came of age in the late ’90s in New York’s Lower East Side, back when it was still grimy and the twin cultures of skateboarding and graffiti were all the rage, and first picked up a camera as a graphic design student in 1997. His environment and interests were perfectly in sync with the youth culture of the time, and his fledgeling photographic practice, published through zines he gave out to his friends who were also often the subjects of his imagery.
It was a road trip to Vermont in 2003 that proved to be a defining moment in McGinley’s career. While adolescent shenanigans involving sex, drugs and music had always been of central interest for the artist, this sun-dappled summer spent in the wild, with a gang of free-spirited and often naked friends for company, set McGinley on a definite path that celebrated youth and spontaneity above all else. His imagery has developed along that path ever since. Nudes are the main focus, and through many years and further summer road trips, McGinley has become a master at a particular kind of semi-staged scene which now feature “ordinary looking” models as well as his friends, and apparently serendipitous moments are the result of carefully considered repetition. Photographs 1999-2015, at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, includes work from all his important collections from the early forays in the discipline right up until his most recent experimental projects. Closing date is 30 August.