The Photographic Journal

Dogtown Afternoon

Essay 450 • Jun 22nd 2020

These images, in the most basic sense, are compositions and color statements. More formally they all have a leitmotif. I take this raw material and apply a programmatic theme, but most are simply things that are interesting enough to record or recreate. Since people are involved there is always a sense of psychological juxtaposition. Because of the disconnectedness of these, they seem to exist in the same space because of the illusion I’ve created, but there is an underlying sense of alienation and sometimes a just beneath the surface anticipatory terror.

I’ve been interested in the skate park and skateboarders for a long time, but could never really figure out what to do with it. Only shooting for an hour or so each morning and a couple of late day visits, over a two week period, gave me a wealth of material all gathered on the same day in the same light with the same cast.

From a technical point of view, I have always found that my interest was in some sort of process manipulation, at first physical, later chemical and now digital. I don’t take photographs in the traditional manner. I see the process cinematically and then collect cast and locations separately.


Stephen Lorber
I grew up in NYC and began making photographs and painting at age 12. I worked my way through college and grad school photographing rock and jazz music personalities and groups. I did album covers, ads, publicity, covered parties, recording sessions and made one of the first music videos in 1967. I lived in the Virgin Is., Rome and New Mexico, making photographs, paintings and prints. From 1972 to 1985 I concentrated on painting and printmaking. I had fifteen exhibitions in NYC, Dallas, Santa Fe and LA during that period. By 1990 I had gone over to photography full time, mostly working on a large format Mythology project. Some of those images were shown at the Kitchen in NYC in 1994 and at the Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Center, Madrid, Spain. For the last 16 years, I’ve been making images dealing with rural life, suburban life, homelessness, crazy skate board people and other related subjects.
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