Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mike Brodie, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity @ Yossi Milo Gallery

Just when I thought Yossi Milo had gone the way of Danziger, Zach Feuer and other galleries that moved to bigger, nicer spaces, only to immediately show only decorative, marketable work. Then bam, Brodie’s pictures of train hoppers, work that has been floating around for some time, and if I am not mistaken is represented by M + B in Los Angeles. Despite the work not finding a home on the east coast, it is damn solid. It features a rather intimate and substantial portrayal of young crusty punk-looking kids train hopping. The photographs are filled with telling details, like dudes sleeping comfortably on an incline of coal, or a young woman in underwear with a blood stained crotch. The pictures make train hopping seem pretty rough, but at the same time Brodie mixes in lots of sunsets and kids hanging out of rail cars while landscapes blur by, creating a degree of romance that surely attracts kids to such an existence. The work also has a physical proximity to the subjects, and they seem endlessly comfortable in front of the camera. As a viewers, we are put on the train, living the life. It is good work that highlights at its core what photography can and should be. As much as I enjoyed the pictures, I caught the tail end of the opening and loved the humanity amassed at Yossi’s shiny new space, crusty train-hopping kids with dogs laying out on the gallery floor. It was quite a sight. I liked to imagine they all rode trains into Bushwick and were handed communal bikes to ride into Chelsea for the opening. Good to see Yossi Milo back in the game and putting on good photography shows.

Through Apr. 6th


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