Ryan McGinley: Wandering Comma @ Alison Jacques Gallery

NY based photographer Ryan McGinley is back in London with an exhibition of his new work at Alison Jacques Gallery, titled ‘Wandering Comma’. The show is a continuation of his earlier work and style, but this time with large scale photographs (printed to 110 x 70″) creating a more dramatic effect on his narrative.

The exhibited seven works depict teenagers in various environments. Nudity in its elaborate form seems to be the most appropriate medium for McGinley’s settings. It does not offend, sometimes it is not even that noticeable as it is profoundly merged within non-recognizable surroundings. The explosion of vivid colours combined with the playfulness of light and shadow create idyllic sceneries. Although McGinley likes to orchestrate his settings, he allows his subject matter to feel and act free within the given environment. The result is never dictated, it is known only after the shot has been taken. The position of his models and their given freedom of movement lead to astonishing and unexpected results. We are often engaged by the lack of gravity, which in an almost cinematic way produces a surreal state – and the grand scale of his prints almost invites us to explore and join this fantasy world.

McGinley has a keen interest in nature and its phenomena and -although his imagination is slightly lessened compared to previous works- the experimentation with the colour palette of their natural presence helps him go a step further by innovatively making his shots appear as extracts of a sci-fi movie. Although his work employs an erotic attractiveness, its utopic character balances out the entire microcosm of each image creating a euphoric, almost religious, atmosphere.
| Kostas Prapoglou