Not on view
Sheet: 39 3/4 × 29 3/4in. (101 × 75.6 cm) Frame: 39 3/4 × 29 5/16 × 1in. (101 × 74.5 × 2.5 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee
Rights and reproductions
© 1999 Ryan McGinley
In the 1990s, Ryan McGinley turned his camera on his own friends and lovers, creating photographs imbued with a sense of intimacy, while at the same time documenting the youth communities of New York City’s Lower East Side at that time—skateboarders, graffiti artists, musicians, and gay youth. Many of these photographs were featured in McGinley’s self-published book The Kids Are Alright (1999). Like other images in the book, Elevator shows a subject seemingly self-aware—even posing and actively participating in his own self-depiction—while at the same time engaged in the very ordinary activity of riding in an elevator. As is characteristic of McGinley’s work, the photograph’s large scale and atmospheric color invest an everyday moment with drama and emotional intensity.