Friday, November 18, 2011

Brook Smith, Sunday Matinee @ Primary Photographic Gallery

Every generation and sub-genre should get their own Nan Goldin, Dash Snow, or Ryan McGinley. There is no reason our collective memories of youth and membership in an age appropriate sub-genres shouldn’t be documented. Images created on the fly, that are factual, encyclopedic, with a little bit of artistic flare, that look as romantic as our collective memories. 

Brook Smith is a generation or two removed from my time as a New York hardcore kid. The pictures brings back memories of the 90’s on the Bowery while indulging me in a heavy dose of romanticism for a time that pre-dates my involvement in hardcore, a time that exists for me only through old fanzines and live-bootlegs, a time of the Cro-Mags in their prime, or the Bad Brains before HR completely lost his sanity. When things were dirtier and edgier, when Jimmy Gestapo had hair and one could serious debate whether Punks and Skins would ever be unified, or whether Nausea belonged on the Way It Is comp. 

But like the work of Nan Goldin, Dash Snow and Ryan McGinley, you can question the value of Smith’s pictures if you have no idea who Straight Ahead or Raybeez is or why we can’t forget the streets. But obviously that’s not me. I am an aging Hardcore kid. This will always be my youth, and I’ll happily bask in it all I want, thank you very much. Oh, and don’t sell out!!!!!

If you happen to be the other person out there who is an avid fan of Hardcore photographers, Brook Smith is in the ballpark quality-wise of Bri Hurley of the soon to be re-released Making a Scene fame, but without the versatility of, say, a BJ Papas, and they all pale in comparison to Ken Salerno or for my money the greatest of all hardcore photographers Justine DeMetrick, but then again I probably just lost most of you.

Already down
Primary Photographic Gallery (195 Chrystie St. Btw. Stanton St. & Rivington St.)


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