What occurs when youth and innocence are thrown into a world full of heightened awareness, political turbulence, and social injustice?
"Young American" is inspired by Robert Frank’s, “The Americans”, Ryan McGinley’s “Early”, Olivia Bee’s “Kids in Love”, Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”, and Larry Clark’s “Teenage Lust”. From them, I learned to achieve that “snapshot aesthetic”, to move with moments as they were happening. I learned to trust my instincts, to compulsively yet recklessly snap away. I attended political rallies for the first time, brought my camera to clubs, and studied my friends intently. I learned to shoot RAW on my iPhone, because I imagined that these photographers would do the same: shoot with whatever means necessary. I began to understand that documentary photography was not an expression of reality, but more so, an insight into an individual’s personal experience. This project was no longer an exploration of the world I lived in, but the way I saw the world.
"Young American" is a melodrama of our youth. We are restless, we are reckless. The world is turbulent and unsure, and here we are, reveling in the madness of it all.
This is the story of our youth.