Ryan McGinley (b. 1977, Ramsey, New Jersey) is an American photographer known for his works that capture the fleeting experiences of youth in contemporary culture. He studied graphic design at the Parsons School of Design, where he began to experiment with photography and became involved in the downtown art scene, befriending artists such as Dan Colen and Dash Snow.
McGinley’s works invoke a sense of fantasy nostalgia, ephemeral moments of youth unable to experienced or captured again. He photographs his subjects in both urban and natural settings, exploring the ways in which the human body blends into its environment, embracing rather than rejecting it. Very aware of his subjects’ feelings in front of the camera, especially when posing nude, McGinley is able to extract a sense of spontaneity and lack of self-consciousness from them. He captures images of figures in inexplicable bliss and peace, uninhibited by worries and concerns.
At age 25, McGinley was one of the youngest artists to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003. His work has also been exhibited at MoMA PS1 (Queens), Ratio 3 (San Franscisco), Team Gallery (New York) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). McGinley lives and works in New York.