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.