If you are just coming across Ryan McGinley's photographs of his mostly naked, and slightly asexual friends for the first time you might think, How derivative. But maybe you don't know that McGinley is the founder of this look. His photographs have an offhanded, "I don't care" quality while being very contemporary at the same time. There is an ecstatic of-the-moment sense to each image.
Meanwhile other photographers, advertising executives, and major corporations have been appropriating his look and feel in a sincere form of flattery.
McGinley, at 25, was one of the youngest artists to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and since then it has been a life of rarefied shoots with the likes of Tilda Swinton and a lot of cute skateboarders. There is a cool freedom and energy to his work, like people having the life you wish you had lived.
You and I is the most comprehensive retrospective of Ryan McGinley's work to date. The images are skillfully edited by McGinley and Jack Woody and presented in a beautifully printed, clothbound, large format volume with essays by Vince Aletti and Sylvia Wolf.