top of page


Ryan McGinley : WINTER

Ryan McGinley is an american photographer, who was born on October 17th in 1977, in New Jersey. McGinley is considered as one of the most talented artist of the United States. After being admitted into Parsons School, he decided to move to New York. It's near 1998 that he started to take pictures of his homies, some strangers and usual objects : he later explained in an interview for Vice (for which he was a photo editor) that younger, he used to take pictures during parties where he used to get turnt up, so the next day he will be able to remember everything. We can find his tastes for frankness and spontaneity in his first exhibition called : THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. Some polaroids hung on a wall, and available for everybody who wanted to see them. Then he gathered the pictures together in a homemade book. His exhibition later ended up at the Whitney Museum Of American Art in 2003. Being one of the youngest artist in a prestigious institution, made of Ryan McGinley one of the most talended photographer of his generation. McGinley's vision of New York youth was seen all over the world. It led also to other projects more sophisticated and centered on nudity, as we can see with the books WAY FAR, YOU AND I or YEARBOOK. His sudden success also helped him collaborate with companies and celebrities.

Ryan McGinley x MIA, New York Times behind the scenes, 2010.

When we thought McGingley was at the highest peak of his career, he gave us another visual masterpiece, with his project called "WINTER". Following the "FALL" exhibition, the shots had been shown for the first time in November 2015 at the TEAM GALLERY of New York. 13 years after his first project, the photographer had improved his style. He replaced teens and the mood of the city with appeasement. McGinley goes back to the source, by offering us pictures took in the northern glacial plains of New York. Exposing human beings to the dangers of cold with such an elegance, was never seen before. Accentuated with a palette of cool colors, which lead us to an unreal world. However, nature's beauty is interrupted by bloody and slash bodies, reminding us the dangers of the environment. The models, confront themselves to it without any protection. We see curled up bodies, swallowed up by the intransigent landscape. As weird as it can be, we can consider ice as 'the real model' of the shoot, because all its aspects give a deep dimension to the shots. The shapes of the scenery strike our attention. With his approach McGingley took an important risk, nevertheless some people thought that it was just absurd and dangerous. In order to create such an aesthetic, the american photographer had to think about various special techniques to deal with the cold. Indeed he had to use : harness, tents and radiators.

If proposing an alternative way to represent nudity is absurd, then I can say that Ryan McGinley is absurd. If trying to improve his art by pushing it to the limit is absurd, then I can say that Ryan McGinley is absurd. And if changing what has already been done is absurd, then I can say that I appreciate his absurdity.

bottom of page