Joseph Szabo: Teenage.
Photographs by Joseph Szabo. Text by Cameron Crowe.
168 pp., 143 duotone illustrations, 11¼x10¾".
After receiving an MFA in Photography from the Pratt Institute, Joseph Szabo did what most recent fine art graduates do; he got a job teaching photography, at Malverne High School on Long Island in particular, where he taught from 1972 to 1999. At first glance, the work seems to be of a period-there are the Farah Fawcett-like feathered haircuts, the bell-bottoms, the terry-cloth blouses and no shortage of cigarettes. Indeed, they are from a period. But on another look, his images are convincingly timeless—this was my high-school, with the jocks, the dances, the stoners, and endless scenes from the parking lot. The girls were awkwardly learning what to do with their new-found sexuality, some clearly more comfortable than others, while the guys nervously looked on from the sidelines or the interior of their cars. Amazingly, Szabo was everywhere that things were happening, yet unobtrusively so. In many ways, these photographs seem to have been made by a peer of the students, rather than by one of their teachers. Cameron Crowe provides a brief but insightful commentary on those newly found, incomprehensible feelings that defined high school
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