“Animals” is an art project of New York based photographer Ryan McGinley, consisting of color portraits with live animals and nude models. In his photographs, human legs and torsos are covered in scratches while animals are staring directly at the camera, wearing an expression of apparent shock. Before working on his project, he visited several sanctuaries, zoos and rescue establishments all over the United States, always having a mobile studio around wherever possible working with different animal trainers. McGinley`s pictures are studies in animal bodies, their strangeness and seductivity.
The Pop art attitude is created through the use of candy-colored backgrounds to make the images far more attractive, introducing a mentally tension between their initially inviting appearances. The relationships between the animals and models situate the photographs firmly within the sphere of the surreal and the psychedelic. McGinley’s art is included in the collections of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., and many others.