Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Gay Microgenerations: Ryan McGinley v. Ryan Trecartin

Here are some thoughts on the consecutive rise of two Ryans. Ryan McGinley is the young superstar photographer who became famous in the early 00s. Ryan Trecartin, four years younger, began getting attention in 2006 and became art-world famous circa 2009. In their ways and work, the Ryans represent two adjacent micro-generations of gays. Christopher Glazek writes: "McGinley helped to elevate a necrophiliac vision of mute youth into the universal condition of downtown existence…. Now the new Ryan has negated McGinley’s negation, superseding the gym bunny-heroin corpse dialectic entrenched since the 1980s." In light of Trecartin's videos—which are girly, brash, multi-ethnic, screechy and hilarious—McGinley's snapshot-stylized pale thin hipster butts running through fields of wheat oddly start to become the images that seem ridiculous and fake and aspirational and advertorial.

15 Comments / Post A Comment

Multiphasic (#411)

"Oddly"? McGinley cashed in on the fact that a generation of white idiots felt like they weren't being sufficiently exalted through marketing.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Multiphasic (And worse, they were wrong.)

flossy (#1,402)

@Multiphasic The same ahistorical generation of white idiots who didn't realize or care that Larry Clark, Nan Goldin etc. etc. got there first (and did it better). I suppose every new batch of teenagers thinks they invented sex, but come on. It's not like we didn't have the internet.

keisertroll (#1,117)

We need one more gay Ryan so I can play F/M/K.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Seacrest doesn't count.

Multiphasic (#411)

@keisertroll What, so the presumably not-gay one doesn't count?

keisertroll (#1,117)

@Multiphasic He has to come out on his terms.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I'm sorry, but I tune out when I see "downtown."

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Just because I'm post-Ginley doesn't mean I don't understand the struggles older Ginleys went through.

I was going to recommend that you all go see the Trecartin installation at PS1 if you haven't already, but it closed this month.

It was a fantastic, horrifying, wonderful thing! Kind of like being bludgeoned, molested, and then vomited upon by all of YouTube at once. There's a weird threshhold where once you get over hating it and not understanding it, you become mesmerized. It became like this crazy, 4-hour long movie.

And it is quotable, if you have the right sort of friends. On second viewing, I brought a notebook:
* "I'm embarrassed that I have things that're sexy in my life."
* "Apparently, this place is full of loser, post-bitch identity tourists!"
* [in a slo-mo southern drawl] "I HATE buyin' from the diet menu!"

HiredGoons (#603)

Trust me the two are IN NO WAY mutually exclusive.

But yes, McGinley is Nan Goldin Lite TEAM TRECARTIN.

jennie (#25)

oops. there goes tumblr.

skyslang (#11,283)

Marc Jacobs vs. Tom Ford. Keith Harring vs. Helmut Newton. Pedro Almodovar vs. Gus Van Sant. …

ejcsanfran (#489)

@skyslang: Ryan Idol vs Jeff Stryker…

keisertroll (#1,117)

@ejcsanfran Brent Corrigan vs. Zeb Atlas

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