Ryan McGinley gets naked (again)

“India” and “Larson F”

The fact that Ryan McGinley’s latest show, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” involves candidly photographed young naked people will come as a shock to no one, though there is one major departure from his previous work in that this series is shot entirely in black and white in a studio. Far from the carefree waifs running through fields or having a ball together in a crowded bathtub, these b&w portraits are more serious, for the most part, and more intimate. The gallery’s statement remarks that “there is is joy as well as uncertainty” in the photos and sure, I agree. Some subjects are nervous and awkward, but they’re happy, or at least they’re smiling. These images, I’m thinking particularly of “India” and “Larson F” are really quite charming. Some are beautiful and composed, some look like American Apparel ads, sans clothing, some could double as anorexia PSAs and some are, frankly, kind of boring. “Hari” and “Louis” summon forth memories of undergrad senior art shows – there’s always that one photography major who coaxes his or her friends to pose naked. McGinley’s been at it for about a decade now and I have to wonder, can he do anything else?

“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” at Team Gallery, March 18 – April 17, 2010.