Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Frieke Janssens Child Smokers
Child smokers by Frieke Janssens are certainly striking, the bastard child of Loretta Lux and Mark E.Smith.
The first thing I felt when I saw it was a sense of nostalgia for those days in the 70s when you'd have scrawny, ferret-like 11-year-old kids lighting up and gobbing all over the place behind the bike sheds at school.
There was a complex range of ways kids held and smoked their fags, and a complex range of different ways of gobbing. But I don't really think that Hanssens addresses the appeal smoking had for British kids - as something hard as well as cool (see Lewis Hine below) - but rather projects an adult idea of smoking onto the children. But then it's commercial photography which is kind of like smoking in that it's the first hit that counts and not the long-term view.
So I thought of other pictures of children smoking and came up with a few that really nail it for me.
Mary Ellen Mark
and Joseph Szabo whose teenagers are nearly always smoking.
Mmm, that's a bit American-heavy but so it goes. I keep on thinking there should be loads of hollow-cheeked northern English kids smoking but I can't seem to find them...
Anyway, here's the Making of Child Smokers and the smoking Indonesia kid that inspired the project.