Shoot From the Hip: Snapshots from the 2009 Vice Photography Exhibition

As Vice photo editor, Tim Barber's keen eye helped catalogue youth culture in the Brooklyn's artistic eruption in the early 2000s. His discerning eye helped raise the status of Vice alums Ryan McGinley, Richard Kern, and Terry Richardson as they captured youth, sexuality, and joie de vivre in their edgy but captivating works. This mix of snap shot, "I can do that" photography, seemingly put art photography into the hands of amateurs in the same way that hip hop and graffiti provided egalitarian art mediums. But the Vice exhibition's images of girls looking through fishbowls, a distraught artist with a head in the oven, and dirty stuffed animals aren't just snapshots. Each image act as a document of young people's vision and imagination. Maggie Lee, 21, and her series documents her struggles in an artless suburban world. Jamie Lee Curtis Taete--based out of the "Silver Lake of London" neighborhood, Whitechapel--portrays the spontaneity of party culture and the beauty behind an unposed shot. As photographs age, their content changes meaning. The jokes are lost or forgotten, and the photo ultimately stands alone as a document of art as result of, or reaction to, boredom.

Detail of Tim Barber's Photograph
Detail of Tim Barber's Photograph
Drew Tewksbury


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