McGinley has been garnering acclaim for his advertising photography of late, but his London show will feature a new series of works shot in caves across North America. The show is titled Moonmilk, which alludes to the crystalline deposits found on the walls of caves, once believed to be formed from the light of celestial bodies passing through the rock to the darkened worlds below.
The exhibition reveals a new direction for McGinley, who is perhaps best known for his compelling and intimate snapshots of his friends partying and hanging out. The cave works are more considered, and appear to have been more of a labour of love, with McGinley eschewing commercial caves to focus on the more trecherous environments of ‘wild caves’.
“There is something prehistoric about a cave that makes one feel comfort and impending doom all in one breath,” he says. “The air is often thick with dust, humidity and the smell of minerals while the ground is slick clay, or rubble that fell from the ceiling. It is slow going when burdened by the excessive amount of lighting options needed to pull off an eight-hour shoot. Most caves are no more than 50 degrees farenheit inside, while some house ice that stays intact all year round making it a challenge to endure the long exposures and precarious set-ups necessary to shoot with such limited light.”
McGinley’s exhibition is on at Alison Jacques Gallery until October 8, and a book of the cave photographs has been published by Morel Books to coincide with the opening.