/09 Adolescence

Peter Yankowsky

Kids These Days

Kids These Days is an ongoing portrait project on suburban youth. My work depicts children and teens contrasted with pictures of adults- the likely parents that raise them and the adults they will often become.

This project focuses on the Midwest but I want it to feel like most anyone’s youth. It recalls what is nostalgic about childhood while commenting on a period of contemporary adolescent life where supervision gives way to autonomy. A playground begins as a lava landscaped battlefield and the woods are closer to Middle Earth than they are to the dinner bell. But with time those battlefields become evening meet ups and the creek bed forts fill with stolen lawn chairs and purchased grass. There is a slow but definite transition here that most everyone is in someway subjected to.

Socioeconomic implications are also involved with this. The activities that occur parallel to the poverty line are very different than those happening in the neighborhood with the prefix of “lakes.” Though the experience remains the same. In a broader sense, this work is about complications connected to a loss of innocence. I want viewers to look at this world and say, “I know those kids. Were those kids us?”