Go See – London: Ryan McGinley’s ‘Moonmilk’ at Alison Jacques Gallery through October 8, 2009

September 28th, 2009

Tracy (Dripping), Ryan McGinley (2009) via RyanMcGinley.com

Currently on show at the Alison Jacques Gallery, London is Moonmilk; a series 22 new color photographs from the American photographer Ryan McGinley. For this, his first ever solo show in the UK, McGinley presents the viewer with a series of photographs he captured over the period of a year in spectacular caves across North America.  The show’s title, Moonmilk, alludes to the white, crystalline deposits found on the walls of caves – a substance once believed to have been formed by light from celestial bodies passing through rock into darkened worlds below. In this instance, the huge geographical features created by the Moonmilk serve as a phenomenal backdrop to McGinley’s nude models.

Related Links:
Alison Jacques Galley Homepage
Ryan McGinley website
Sexy Art: Ryan McGinley’s ‘Moonmilk” nudes exhibit [examiner.com]
Moonmilk: going underground with Ryan McGinley [Guardian.co.uk]
Openings: Ryan McGinley’s ‘Moonmilk’ [ArrestedMotion]

More text and images after the jump…

Grace and Tracy (Goliath), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via RyanMcGinley.com

Jack (Molten), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via Alison Jacques

McGinley sprang into the photography world while still a student at Parsons School of Design in 1999 when he printed a 50 page book of idyllic urban moments – ‘The Kids are All Right.” His career steadily grew over the years (he became the youngest artist to ever have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of Art in 2003) and he gained notoriety primarily for his ‘snapshots’ – images which appeared to capture moments of spontaneous, fleeting moments. In contrast to this casual rhetoric for which he is best known, Moonmilk appears to have been a much deeper and more controlled experiment for McGinley, he has noted that Moonmilk pushed his troupe to new levels of bravery and fortitude in an eerie environment that at once conjured feelings of comfort and doom; “I wanted a challenge, so I decided to do the cave project because I needed to slow my film. Shooting these pictures was like directing theater, I had to pay attention to every little detail.”

Jack (White Sides), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via Alison Jacques

Jonas (Glow Falls), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via Alison Jacques

Jack (Hanging Rock), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via RyanMcGinley.com

McGinley often describes his work as a type of ‘travel log’ in which he records and captures his adventures across the American landscape; Moonmilk is partly inspired by childhood adventure books such as Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Jules Verne’s Journey to the center of the Earth. McGinley made a very firm decision to avoid ‘commercial’ caves; instead he focused on locating what are commonly known as ‘Wild Caves’ in order to plunge himself and his crew into an awesome and impenetrable blackness to bring back evidence from the hidden realm – pictures from inside the earth.

Wes (Falling), Ryan McGinley (2009). Via Alison Jacques

Blood Falls, Ryan McGinley (2008/2009). Via Alison Jacques