Earlier this week, John wrote about Ryan McGinley’s new music video for Sigur Rós, which features a golden-locked young woman skipping through the streets of New York City. On the other side of the country, photographer RJ Shaughnessy has cooked up a similarly carefree project, “Stay Cool.” Recently released as a self-published photobook, “Stay Cool” seems like an ideal series for summer: it’s full of sun-kissed young people frolicking about Los Angeles. The feel-good vibe is almost over-the-top, what with the photographs of kids high-fiving police officers and staging impromptu jamborees in the middle of the road.
Still, as a project, “Stay Cool” is so earnest about being positive. A short text at the back of the book reads: “Please feel free to share these images with everyone. Scan these images. Share these images. Photocopy these images. Bootleg this book. Sell it to strangers on the street… These photographs and all photographs should be shared.” Rock on! I’m not really sure what the message here is, but it definitely seems like everyone’s having a good time.