Michael Franzini: Young Americans, 2007

19 December 2007 - 8 January 2008

Young Americans: Photographs from ONE HUNDRED YOUNG AMERICANS

A story about America’s youth opens new exhibition in NYC

Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, New York is proud to announce their latest exhibition Young Americans: Photographs from ONE HUNDRED YOUNG AMERICANS by Michael Franzini.

Franzini - a photographer, writer and Emmy-winning director - traveled over 30,000 miles with his crew to photograph and interview a diverse group of 100 teens in all 50 states. The resultant book - ONE HUNDRED YOUNG AMERICANS  http://www.100youngamericans.com. – published by HarperCollins, shows American teenagers as they want to be seen. The project gives a rare glimpse into their private lives and the many social issues they wrestle with on a daily basis. Franzini has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and in The New York Post discussing the endeavour.

Young Americans is comprised of 28 new photographs from the book. This is the first fine art exhibition of photographs from this project. As the historian Philippe Aries once noted, “It is as if, to every period of history, there corresponded a privileged age and a particular division of human life: youth is the privileged age of the seventeenth century, childhood of the nineteenth, adolescence of the twentieth.”  For much of the last 50 years, portraying youth and chronicling adolescence are subjects that have been mined by artists, most notably Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Reneke Dijkstra. It is especially fitting, though, that Franzini’s work will premiere at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art. The gallery has a long-standing interest in supporting young artists, and of featuring work dealing with the issues of youth and adolescence. Previous exhibitions of work by artists such as Ryan McGinley, Todd Jordan, and Jan Ebeling have been notable for their first-hand, often diaristic look at youth culture. An older generation of the gallery’s artists, such as Shauna Frischkorn, Patricia Richards, Martine Fougeron, and Ranee Palone Flynn, have looked at the awkwardness and angst of the teenage years from a more removed perspective. Suzanne Opton, on the other hand, addressed the experience of young soldiers at war in a series of haunting portraits. Considered within this tradition then, Franzini’s look at a spectrum of young men and women, drawn from diverse backgrounds in every state, transcends journalistic reporting and operates within a much broader artistic context that is particularly well-represented at this gallery.

Michael Franzini is a photographer and youth-culture expert based in Los Angeles and New York City.  Also a writer and director, he created the Emmy Award-winning “Fight for Your Right” campaigns for MTV.  His photographs have appeared in magazines and ad campaigns targeting Americans young and old, and current and past clients include Google, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Elton John AIDS Foundation, Rock the Vote, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, Wal-Mart, T-Mobile, and Panasonic.