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Joseph Szabo TEENAGE

December 24th, 2009

I was in a used book store the other day here in Seattle and chanced upon a book locked up in the rare/collectible book case that looked too interesting to pass by. After fetching someone to unlock the case, I was treated to Joseph Szabo’s TEENAGE.

Szabo taught at Malverne High School on Long Island for more than twenty five years (from the early 70′s to the late 90′s) where he was able to take a number of remarkably candid photographs of teenage life (and hair). I’m so into these photographs that I’ve been wondering how I would be able to undertake a photo project like this without seeming like a total creep. Maybe I’ve missed my chance, and I’m now stuck documenting the lives of the over-30s.

Nevertheless, looking through these photographs has got me humming Sound Of Silver over and over while looking through my old yearbooks trying to remember what I’ve tried to forget. Clearly I’m not alone. The forward to TEENAGE was written by Cameron Crowe, and other auteurs — from Sofia Coppola to Terry Richardson — have drawn direct inspiration from the posturing, sexual yearning, and social exploration of the world that the collection depicts.

Check out the book (if you can find it) and be sure to take a moment to look through more great photos of this ilk on Szabo’s gallery’s site.

Art, Fashion, Photography

  1. March 25th, 2010 at 10:47 | #1

    I had no problems with Mr. Szabo taking our picture (The Kiss Lili Bruno and Michael Vignola: spring/summer of 1978). He was very supportive of us expressing ourselves. I moved to Florida that summer but was sent several pictures of Mike and I from his work through a student of his and best friend, Andrea Fischer. I many times have regretted sending those pictures up to Mike w/o making copies of them. Now I have some hope of seeing them again. Mr. Szabo, please have more for us, please!!!

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