Artist Statement: Ryan McGinley

I didn't really get into music until I was sixteen. My friend has a brother who was one or two grades ahead of us who listened to Morrissey. We all wore Doc Martens and big army coats and sat in his basement listening to it. I couldn’t believe how someone so far away could speak so directly to me. How could he speak so simply, addressing so many of the issues I was dealing with. He’s having a laugh and, at the same time, he’s being deadly serious. He has a way of saying exactly what I need to hear. These are my songs just like they are everyone else's, but they are still mine.

The idea behind this series was to capture the feeling from the perspective of a fan attending a Morrissey concert. The great thing about shooting him is that he’s so active. He knows about the drama and opera of performance. He invented those classic Smiths moves, whipping around his microphone cord, shaking his hips, and throwing his wrists back and forth in the air. All of my work is people performing or being active in front of the camera, so taking pictures of Morrissey made perfect sense. Photographing the concerts is my way of expressing my appreciation to him.