The teenage years are filled with excess -- overflowing emotions, overwhelming changes, overactive pituitaries and, with it, a bubbling of creativity. And while many of us might look at our teen diaries, artwork or photos and cringe, it's these early projects that have an important role in the development of a budding artist's future practice. Juvenilia, a pop-up art show that just finished its run at Teen Art Salon, embraced this young expression of artistic energy by featuring works by teenagers around the country and, in doing so, expanding the way the public views young people beyond the stereotypical angst and naivety.
Curated by Isabella Bustamante, the founder and director of Teen Art Salon, the show aimed to push budding artists into a legitimate realm of art. “By focusing on the early output of future practitioners,” Bustamante says, “we see a formative sensibility that will inform potentially a lifelong practice. Juvenilia surveys how the visual diaries of young creative-types inform a new set of complex social and performative behaviors from the perspective of artists still in transition.”
Photography has always been a medium favored by youth and the works of six photographers from the show stand out as mementos of a time and place in youth culture, touching on sexuality, sensuality, self reflection and the journey into maturity in an age of the Internet. From portraits exploring the fluidity of gender by Stella Mulroney, to a series by Jensen Foerster capturing that crucial time of girl sleepovers, to Lauren Tepfer’s images of objects and places through a dreamy state of observation, these young photographers' talents are way beyond their years. Take a look at images from the show, below.