McGINLEY, Ryan; BMX
Since the early 2000s, Ryan McGinley has constructed a body of work picturing his adolescent friends and others involved in the skateboarding scene on New York's Lower East Side. He has developed a working relationship with magazines including i-D, Vice and Butt, and was mentored by photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark, whom he met in 1991.
McGinley’s BMX is presented from the point of view of a male rider looking through the handlebars of his bike to his feet and the asphalt below. Sporting a tattoo and outfitted in ubiquitous symbols of cool – blue jeans and black Converse sneakers – the rider offers viewers a space to imagine themselves in the picture. McGinley frames the image in the aesthetic of skateboarding magazines and urban subcultural street press. Paring back surplus visual information, McGinley deftly casts viewers into what, for some, is familiar territory, full of associations. The image evokes the experience of riding bikes designed for speed, for showing off, for taking risks and exercising freedom.
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