I Don't Warna Grow Up
Colour monograph - 18 x 27 cm
144 pages - 150gsm Profimatt Uncoated / 80gsm Uncoated
OTA Bound, Softcover
With an essay by Abeline Cohen.
First Edition of 1000, September 2012
Published by fourteen-nineteen
“...I believe in these young boys, ever-scrutinised within undefined spaces, each of them embodying the impossibility of innocence lost. We consider spaces that loom so large, yet easily become forgotten.” - Abeline Cohen
Fourteen-Nineteen presents the culmination of a years’ worth of transatlantic dialogue for the first book of photographs by artist Sean Vegezzi (1990).
Starting in 2000 Vegezzi began documenting his explorations in New York City. Vegezzi and his companions traversed unused but guarded spaces of the city. Wandering through abandoned subway tunnels, constructions sites, alleyways, rooftops and other spaces of abject industrial insignificance, Vegezzi struck out for the liminal and in between spaces of his environment.
Vegezzi's photographs both document this experience and immortalise the adventurous spirit of adolescence. I Don’t Warna Grow Up could be a mantra for his subjects who are mostly wandering boys on a search for the sake of searching. There is a restlessness to Vegezzi’s images, a seemingly insatiable desire to rearrange the city before them, contrasted to the unfulfilled spaces they find. New York City is a vast network of boundaries both physical and socio-economic, but the magic of youth is found in the lack of reverence for those boundaries.
In one of Vegezzi's most iconic images, a lone figure stands in the middle of an enormous underground construction site. It appears to be a project of epic scale. Construction equipment and material litter the site as the lone figure stands in the glow of high-powered work lamps. Vegezzi's figure stands here in wonder. He is a portrait of defiance; curious and unafraid. He is alone, in his own space, underneath the entire world.
"In a place like Manhattan, it’s rare to find a square foot of space that hasn’t been documented. Yet Vegezzi offers us a view of (and into) Manhattan that is seldom seen. Whether it’s an abandoned subway station, or his friends climbing over rooftops, train surfing or running from the cops, these are the kind of unguarded photographs you can only make when you’re young and unafraid."
A two-part video interview with Sean Vegezzi by MoMA Teens.
"The book is a time capsule of a process of reckless youth, a compulsive, boyish collection of snapshots of spaces and memories and a far cry from the sterile, intellectualised images often produced by po-faced 'urban explorers'."
- Book review, Weird Science Volume 19 number 9.
"Vegezzi's images are a celebration of being young and not knowing what's coming next."
"[Sean's] subjects reflect his own lifestyle. So in my feelings he's the real deal. And in this day and age of constantly wading through the crap, that means a lot to me."