TABLE OF CONTENTS

Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley, Lauren, 2010, black-and-white photograph, 18 x 12".

MY PHOTOGRAPHS are about removal: bringing people to nondescript locations, to places that aren’t recognizable, removing their clothes, capturing them with a very limited style palette. I try to think about how timelessness, isolation, and style interact.

This year, I began a series of studio portraits, completely changing the look of my work—removing the color, removing the landscape, leaving nothing but a person and a white backdrop. The most important part was casting: finding people who were at a specific time in life, their late teens or early twenties, an exploratory age when you have a lot of free time and before you realize what you really want to do. We did a casting search for three years and then, out of thousands, selected two hundred people to shoot, ultimately narrowing down that selection to eighty-seven finished portraits.

Since all that’s left is someone standing

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2010 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.