The New York photographer Ryan McGinley has always struck a balance between good timing and careful staging. Not to take anything away from those who discovered him, like Sylvia Wolf, who gave McGinley a solo show at New York’s Whitney Museum in 2003, making the twenty-five year old artist the youngest ever to receive that honor. Body Loud, an exhibition at the Galerie Perrotin in Paris, plays with the past. We glimpse the essence of what has made his work such a hit: naked men and women, running, playing with each other and nature, fields and forests, with day, night and setting suns, and sometimes with a photographer’s tricks few added in. The result is unique, a Molotov cocktail of movement, private parts, wild eyes and, of course, loud colors.
More so than their masterful composition, it’s the medley of colors that gives these photographs their power. They capture the beauty of an imaginary moment, or a memory. By emancipating the body, he arouses not only our carnal desire, but our desire to stay forever young, too. McGinley seems, over the years, to have left behind that strain of natural folly found in his early work. Perhaps he’s been subdued by age, or the demands of the market. But today his photographs seem to aspire to that bygone carelessness, which endowed his subjects with a beautiful sense of authenticity. Here’s hoping he’ll always refuse to take the easy way out.
Body Loud by Ryan McGinley
Runs through January 11, 2014
76 Rue de Turenne
+33 1 42 16 79 79