These dynamic photographs by Ryan McGinley are as spectacular as 4th of July fireworks. Not because they literally feature pyrotechnics, but because his road trip images of naked friends running through highways and jumping off cliffs epitomizes what it means to be young in the land of the free.
Appropriately, New York-based photographer Ryan McGinley is the youngest artist to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art (at age 25), exhibiting his now infamous shots of free-spirited youth. Publishing house Rizzoli picked up on the true blue East Coast artworks and recently published a monograph of the images, curated by esteemed novelist and critic Chris Kraus, artist and activist John Kelsey, and auteur filmmaker Gus Van Sant.
“What other critics, curators, and collectors would quickly discover—was an artist who understood and chronicled his own generation (habituées of New York City’s downtown) as no artist had before him. McGinley had managed to capture the hedonistic adventures of youth culture—kids hanging out and enjoying life—but without the dark underbelly of earlier artists who mined similar themes. As the work evolved, he moved away from the more documentary aspect of the early photographs and began to create scenarios where he could explore different ideas (aesthetic and otherwise). This eventually led to the now legendary summer-long road trips, capturing groups of twenty-somethings amongst a variety of American landscapes.”
These were just the images we needed to get us perked up for more summer adventures and is the perfect moodboard for America’s birthday. Happy Independence Day, USA!
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