New York

Paul Graham


Paul Graham’s latest series, “End of an Age,” 1999, consists of forty-nine large color photographs of twenty-somethings hanging out in clubs somewhere in Western Europe or the US (Edinburgh? Munich? Helsinki? New York? Graham refuses to specify). Most of these images are portraits that catch the singular subject unaware and unposed, usually in profile, often leaning against a wall. No one looks directly into the lens. One turns three quarters away, like Betty in Gerhard Richter’s eponymous 1988 painting, into a sea of red and gold. Harsh, stark, sharply defined flash pictures alternate with moodier available-light images that contain more saturated color. These are silent images made in a loud place, still images in a fast place.

Graham eschews the most basic convention of portraiture—the direct gaze of the subject—along with most rules of professional photography. Some images are out of

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