BY Mike Albo

November 21 2009 7:15 AM ET

23% PURE JEFFREY KILMER 01 BRANDON XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COM 

Brandon - Sarasota, Fla.

***

In the past, when you wanted to capture the face of disaffected youth,
you would hang out in record stores or McDonalds parking lots. Jeffrey
Kilmer found most of his subjects through MySpace, from 2002 – 2008.
Most of them are musicians or members of local bands. In many ways
nothing has changed with youth: these are kids who have perfected their
fame pouts and slouchy attitudes before they really know themselves. In
the midst of that age when you think that smiling is a sign of
weakness.

You can see timelessness in Kilmer’s portraits — in
the practiced expressions and awkward sexuality of these young people,
but this book could end up being totemic. The photos depict a moment in
culture — when the Internet was less controlled and kids were using
MySpace to express themselves and as a flyer for their bands. Now there
is less chance for unfettered connection on the Internet. Myspace has
been inundated with messages from Russian sex spambots named Katya, and
people are gravitating towards less penetrable social networking sites
like Facebook. In a way these portraits are a snapshot of a virtual
Wild West, when people made thrilling, sometimes scary connections with
total strangers and it still felt fresh. Moody, tattoo-ey, using their
hair to express their emotions, the subjects that Kilmer captures
embody the real face of American youth as it was briefly in this
wandering, hungry era: the strangely excessive yet depressingly weighty
Naughties.



Tags: Art

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