I’ve found a series of photos that I can’t get out of my mind. If visions you’ve only had in dreams and fuzzy flashbacks of nights that got out of hand were combined, you’d have the latest work of the amazing New York based photographer Ryan McGinley. And if you could take those moments, strip off all your clothes, take a road trip, light some sparklers, climb a tree, and live with absolute wild abandon, then you’d have his new collection “I Know Where Summer Goes”.
In the summer of 2007 McGinley took to the road with 16 models. Collaborating with his troupe and looking at inspiration from 60s and 70s nudist magazines, they shot an incredible 4000 rolls of film. McGinley has culled the 150,000 pictures created down to the 50 achingly brilliant photos that make up “I Know Where the Summer Goes”. I love the obvious freedom – not just from the removal of all your clothes – but a total freedom of form in the photos. Asymmetrical and organic, the essence of their locales infuses each photo. Not just through the presence of nature itself (anyone could just take a picture of the outdoors), but through the use of light and fog and movement the actual photos are sun-dappled and dusted with sand.
In what seems to have been some kind of pan-sexual road party, the photos are exuberant and splashed organically with light. It’s like a ‘shroom trip brought to life in the dessert. There are so many simply perfect shots that I only have room for my absolute faves here, but you HAVE TO check out his website. You won’t be disappointed and the pictures are knock outs, one after the other.
There’s a definite modern-vintage feel to some of the shots, but I feel it comes more from a rediscovery than an attempt to look retro. It’s more a remembrance of a more care-free, less body-conscious, more pubic hair-friendly era. The photos are too unique to be a harkening back, and I feel it’s more like a re-claiming of freedom. That this kind of natural exuberance and love comes across as vintage is more a comment on our the stressed out state of our current media fear-mongering filled world than a throwback photograph. He’s reminding us of a joy and ease we’ve collectively forgotten.
If you’re in NYC, then “I Know Where the Summer Goes” opens tonight at Team Gallery in and runs to May 3, 2008. Someone please come and take me there. I need to go.
Via Jonah Samson @ Cool Hunting