Back to the streets in a book


I first saw Vincent Cianni‘s black and white photographs at University of the Arts’ Sol Mednick Gallery in 2003. The body of work the Brooklyn photographer and teacher was showing was called “Southside,” and it represented Cianni’s photos of a group of Latino in-line skaters from his Williamsburg neighborhood. I thought Cianni’s photos did for Williamsburg what Mary Ellen Mark’s did for Seattle — capture the angst and thrill ride that is urban adolescence. (Read my PW sketch here.)

Last week I got a card from Cianni announcing that his series of Southside photos is now a book, “We Skate Hardcore: Photographs from Brooklyn’s Southside.” (NYU Press, 150 pages, $24.95)

On the book’s cover is the picture I fell in love with. It’s called “Jump, South 1st St. (shown) Back in the Weekly, I called the photo “an urban anthem — a life-affirming shot of a kid with natural grace at one with the grafitti-covered streets.” I guess I’ll stick with that.

For more on Cianni and his new book, see his very nice and comprehensive website.


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