American Youth exhibition and book launch June 5 at Low Life Gallery

American Youth
By the photographers of Redux Pictures

From the country’s youngest-ever superdelegate (and Barack Obama supporter), American Idol contestants at tryouts, and strippers in Portland to debutantes at New York’s Plaza Hotel, gangsters on the Navajo Reservation, or widows of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American Youth provides striking and sometimes startling stories revealing the relationships between self-determination and tradition in our country today.

American Youth
features the work of 25 photographers represented by Redux Pictures, documenting the newest generation of 18 to 24-year-olds in unvarnished detail throughout the book’s 240 pages. Included in the book are NEA Fellow Marc Asnin’s unexpected look at Lubavitch life in New York City, Guggenheim Fellow Darcy Padilla’s grim glimpse at teenage homelessness, and W. Eugene Smith Grant recipient Mark Peterson’s portrait of a JROTC in her prom dress, among many others.

Poignant in their ability to reveal the strength of rebellion alongside the inevitable vulnerability of adolescent existence, the photographs stand in both contrast and correspondence to each other. The lives of Muslim teens, Mormon missionaries, AGs (macho lesbians), and wannabe models are shown with an edgy empathy that defines the Redux Pictures’ collective.

The photographs featured in American Youth were edited with the help of Bill Black (Reader’s Digest), Karen Frank (Conde Nast Portfolio), Jeanne Graves (BestLife), Armin Harris (Fortune), Katherine Harris (The Daily Beast), Jane Hwang (, Michelle Jackson (freelance art buyer, owner of SnapIndigo), Nadja Masri (GEO), Brenda Milis (Men’s Health), Bruce Perez (Redbook), Dora Somosi (GQ) and Allyson Torrisi (Popular Mechanics). The book featured an introduction by Steve Appleford, whose writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Spin.

Work from American Youth was recently exhibited at the New York Photo Festival in May, and will next travel to LOOK3: Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia, June 11-13.

Visit for regular updates by contributing photographers, editors, and subjects from American Youth.

Greg Ruffing is an editorial and fine art photographer working in the Midwestern U.S. and beyond. His photographs have appeared in publications such as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Mother Jones, Stern, Der Spiegel, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, Rolling Stone, and more.
He is one of the 25 Redux photographers who contributed work to the American Youth book, photographing projects about Muslim youth, environmentalists, and b-boys/b-girls (hip hop dancers).
His personal and fine art work has been exhibited in a variety of mediums, including multiple collaborations with Cleveland Public Art in the Buckeye neighborhood (2007) and a project confronting the foreclosure crisis (2008). Other shows in the Cleveland area have included Spaces Gallery (2005), the Gallery of Photographic Arts (2005), Standing Rock Gallery (2006) and Artefino (2007).

Redux Pictures is an editorial and commercial agency based in New York City representing photographers around the world. The agency photographers have been awarded every top prize in photography, have received numerous grants and fellowships and have been exhibited extensively. Redux Photographers include Marc Asnin, Ben Baker, Nina Berman, David Butow, Peter Frank Edwards, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Eros Hoagland, John Keatley, Andy Kropa, Erika Larsen,Gina LeVay, Joshua Lutz, Preston Mack, Kevin J. Miyazaki, Darcy Padilla, Mark Peterson, Michael Rubenstein, Greg Ruffing, Q. Sakamaki, Erin Siegal, Angie Smith, Ben Stechschulte, Brad Swonetz, Nathaniel Welch, and David Yellen.

Contrasto is a unique enterprise in the field of photography. Contrasto was born in the 80s to be a point of reference for quality photojournalism. The agency’s photographers, in addition to its close contact with the information and culture worlds, allows Contrasto to be a leader in the field of author photography. Its vast range of activities (production and distribution of images for journalism, advertising and image consulting, fashion and publishing, archives available online) is guaranteed by the various resources it draws from; most notably Magnum, the prestigious agency founded by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Contrasto is publishing house as well, working to realize photographic books, and exhibits in cooperation with Italy’s public and private institutions. The high level of Contrasto photographers amounts to a gallery of unique images suitable for collecting purposes as well.

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