Ryan McGinley's "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" Opening

Ryan McGinley

Masses of people showed up Thursday night for the Ryan McGinley “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere” opening at Team (Gallery Inc.) on Grand Street, in Soho. The McGinely purveyors filled the small gallery to the brim and flowed out onto the block, their likes akin to fashion week frequenters. The overflow created an impromptu street party. My first thought was “Shit. I’m never going to be able to see the prints inside. I came all the way out here, horrible allergies flaming, to hang out with a bunch of punk fashion kids.”

Then I remembered that I am arguably a punk fashion kid. I also remembered that this is exactly why I love McGinley so much. His work has an ability to gracefully straddle art and fashion, ironically without the use of clothes; his subject are shot in the nude. The mass showing of fashionable New Yorkers made sense to me somehow, especially since my last semester at Parsons I had been inspired to design a collection of women’s clothing based on two of his “Moonmilk” collections images.

Thursday night’s crowd was especially amicable, with little pushing or shoving. Surprisingly I could even enter the gallery fairly easily and see the work. I don’t know how this was possible but I will owe it to the cans of Budweiser being passed out freely and general goodwill.

This show was different from McGinley’s past. He cast aside his famously surreal shots of unruly youths cavorting in natural settings, colors surreal, for black and white shots against a white backdrop. He focused this time on the models themselves in a setting that everybody knows…nowhere, or rather an anonymous photo studio.

The title of the collection is apt and somewhat interesting to contemplate; McGinley is most definitely getting somewhere while he places his subjects nowhere. One continuity remained from his previous works- his subjects remained nude, unruly youths. I was nervous that without the colors I had found so utterly inspiring, compelling me to design a collection based on their palette, that his work would fall flat, take itself too seriously, and strive to be something antiquated and that it is not. This was not the case. Nowhere was great. Nowhere was practically perfect. Ryan’s touch for choosing models so compelling, unique, fresh, and dare I say it 'fashioney', the blank backdrop of a photo studio allowed us to just focus on them and they were all we needed.

"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" runs Mar. 18 to Apr. 17 at Team Gallery, 83 Grand St. (212) 279-9219.