Ryan McGinley (American, b.1977) is an influential Contemporary photographer. He is known for his snapshot-casual style. Furthermore, McGinley’s work typically features young, white, nude models outdoors, captured in a carefree mode that the artist calls an “evidence of fun.” McGinley first started by shooting friends and now uses models, scouted by himself or an assistant. Also, many of his shoots take place during annual road trips across America. This way the artist manages to stage seemingly spontaneous moments of his own imagining. For example, nude waterskiing or models dashing through fireworks.
Ryan McGinley was the youngest of eight children. His older brother died of complications due to AIDS when McGinley was just 17. This was a formative experience that continued to affect McGinley’s life and work. The artist also cites the skateboarders, punk musicians, and street artists he grew up around as influences, along with the work of filmmaker Terrence Malick.