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all words and photos: Alyssa Lesser

I descended upon the intersection of Wooster and Grand early Thursday evening, pretty beyond psyched for the opening Ryan McGinley’s new group of studio portraits, “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.” at Team Gallery. Ryan is probably my favorite contemporary photographer; his work, and its fantastical merging of youth in reverie and panoramic landscape hits a major chord in my heart. As I turned the corner on Grand to meet up with (byt style writer-ed) Ryma and her sisters, I ran head first into a street-consuming horde of young, attractive, everybodies – of course. Only the opening of a Ryan McGinley show could turn into a Soho street riot.

We tried to make our way to the steps of the intimate gallery, but were caught behind globules of art enthusiasts with similar intentions; as we awaited entrance to the show, some cops and fire marshals showed up and closed off the show. The entire block was shut down.

Spotted during the mess were members of MGMT and the Virgins, Emily Haines, girls from Nylon, girls from McGinley’s photos, Jack Siegel, kids I’ve seen around Parsons, and presumably every writer, artist, and former-or-current downtown kid in Manhattan. I guess we travel in packs. It is comforting to stumble upon such mass support for McGinley’s craft – such public outpouring of support for such a beautiful artist with such soul and aesthetic appreciation. It’s electrifying to find art in present day New York with as much of a sincere following as was once found on 8th street. Creating work that feels so personal yet unifies over a thousand rolling stones on a Thursday night in the city is just one of McGinley’s many elusive strengths. We didn’t get in to see the show that night (UPDATE: I did stop by yesterday, and was a little underwhelmed by some of the idiosyncratic portraiture but pleased by the giant signature nudes tumbling off cliffs that complemented the primary body of works), but witnessed instead a humble artist carving a momentous path in history and in the hearts of lost souls everywhere.

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“Everybody knows this is nowhere” is open through April 17th @ Team Gallery, NYC. More details here.