The New York photographer has travelled the world on her mission to capture the ephemeral beauty of bored teens
For as long as she can remember, New York-based Grace Ahlbom has been taking photos – first on her disposable camera, capturing shots of BMX biker friends, and now as a fully-fledged artist. Her MO: tracing the universal values and shared restlessness that exists amongst the worldwide youth of today, telling us, “I like to shoot people who are more reckless, careless, boisterous, edgy or extreme than I am… This keeps me on my toes.”
Since cutting her teeth with photographer Ryan McGinley, Ahlbom has lensed muses-turned-friends such as actor Jack Kilmer, Lukas Ionesco, and fellow Dazed 100 artist Julian Klincewicz, as well as experimented with sculptural works for a show at New York’s Red Hook Gallery in late 2016.
In March 2017, she opened a collaborative show in Tokyo titled PURE, DESIRE with Klincewicz – who shares her fascination for documenting teen boys. The project saw the duo trip to Iceland to photograph a skater named Snorri and his mates as they went about their daily, occasionally mundane, lives.
When asked what holds her interest with boys and their boredom, she explained, “(It) isn’t so much the actual boredom. Instead, it’s about what they do when they’re left to their own devices – when they have to make something out of nothing... It’s a way of seeing who someone really is.”