What do you get when you combine naked bodies, organic landscapes, furry animals, and hallucinogenic drugs?
Ryan McGinley’s first major monograph, of course.
Whistle for the Wind, out this June, chronicles the entirety of the celebrated photographer’s career. From his raw, drug induced images of New York’s youth in The Kids Are Alright to road trips exploring sexuality in Sun and Health to the discovery of underground, crystal-encrusted caves in Moonmilk to challenging society through the juxtaposition of man and beast in his most recent series, Life Adjustment Center, McGinley’s individual style remains unmistakably intact even through his impressive evolution as a photographer.
This collection of iconic images is enhanced by testaments from novelist and critic, Chris Kraus; writer, artist and activist, John Kelsey; and auteur filmmaker, Gus Van Sant – each offering their personal, in-depth perspectives on McGinley’s body of work.
Although McGinley has grown since his first series, he continues to maintain a certain intimacy with his subjects. “Whomever I’m photographing, I sort of fall in love with, or rather my camera falls in love with them. It could be a boy or a girl, because it’s all a fantasy. It’s fiction. But people still look at photographs like they’re one hundred percent real. There’s this idea that the image I’m showing is documentary, and so they project their own ideas about what’s going on. People will come up to me and say the weirdest things about my photographs.” Odd comments be damned; the nostalgia of McGinley’s photographs keep us wanting more.
Whistle for the Wind is available now through Rizzoli.
Written by Lia Berger