Joseph Szabo: Teenage
Joe Szabo is a teacher, photographer, and author who began his photographic studies at Pratt Institute where he received an MFA degree in 1968. He taught photography at Malverne High School in Long Island from 1972-1999 and at the International Center of Photography in New York since 1978.
After his first book, Almost Grown, Joseph Szabo felt the need to continue exploring and documenting the world of teens. The result Teenage, a collection of photographs that begins with Almost Grown and adds new work never before seen from the 70s and 80s.
Photographer Joseph Szabo’s subject is adolescence; his rare gift is capturing the spirit of his students at Malverne High School, caught between puberty and the precipice of adulthood. Taken in the 70s and 80s, the photographs in Teenage represent a remarkable evocation of that period, and yet there is something timeless and endlessly compelling about Szabo’s portrait of almost-adulthood. Some kids are painfully self-conscious, others are self-assured beyond their years–all have allowed Szabo the unique trust of seeing them as they are. The fine line between intimacy and exploitation that other photographers approach is not in evidence here–Szabo has no agenda beyond the recording of these moments of extreme loveliness, bravo, and confusion.