04 June 2015 // Sanne Schrijver //Amersfoort


“Remember it’s romantic as hell what we do” – Ryan McGinley


Ryan McGinley is an American photographer who studied photography at Parsons School of Design in New York City. In 1998 he started with photography. In the beginning McGinley was known for pictures of his fiends from downtown Manhattan. Everyday he photographed them running, skateboarding and always-in motion. Their lives were fast and raw; by night partying, having sex and taking drugs. His reason to go out to a party was to take pictures. McGinley discovered he could make intimate pictures of strangers; it was a breakthrough for him. He learned that all he needed to do was ask; people on his pictures liked being paid attention to and being told do things they normally wouldn’t do.

Last weekend I visited the exhibition “Ryan McGinley photographs 1999-2015” at Kunsthal Kade. You can see a good selection of 15 years of work from McGinley. I love his work because it’s free minded, careless, naughty, loose and an everyday paradise. I find it very inspiring work. Ryan McGinley photographs everything, every moment, every day and every night. Last year, in June 2014, I saw his stimulating speech hold during the graduation ceremony of Parsons School of Design. It’s almost certainly a good idea to pay attention to his advice; "By my fourth year in school, I was shooting every day and every night. I photographed every little thing—all my food, doorways covered in graffiti, and my friends and roommates. I tortured my first boyfriend, Marc, by capturing each moment of our relationship. I was obsessed with documenting my life. So that’s my advice to you: Find something to be obsessed with, and then obsess over it. Don't compete; find what's uniquely yours. Take your experience of life and connect that with your knowledge of photographic history. Mix it all together, and create an artistic world that we can enter into [……..] Be busy. Seek and find a way to do what it is you want to do. Identify what that thing is and do it. Don’t stand around too long having conversations about it. Do it. Refine it. Do it more. Try it a different way".

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