64034.AP1.jpeg

Paul Graham, End of an Age #2, 1997, pigment print mounted to Dibond, 60" × 45" image, 70" × 53-1/2" paper and mount, 72-1/2" × 56-1/2" × 1-3/4" frame, signed in ink on label affixed verso to frame, Edition of 3 with 1 AP © Paul Graham

Photography in Focus

Paul Graham

End of an Age #2

By Lauren Panzo, Vice President
Jul 14, 2020

Paul Graham has the ability to expertly engage with the observable world; his photographs reveal parts of it, or ourselves, that we might otherwise ignore.

I have always responded to his End of an Age series on a personal level. It captures a pivotal time that we all remember—holding on to those fleeting moments of youth, dreaming about changing the world and making a difference, paired with feelings of uncertainty and an unknown future.

“The waxing days of youth are an intriguing yet difficult time—the point of life where responsible adulthood beckons, yet grants a last chance to indulge youthful desires: stay out late, dance, smoke, drink, play loud music, imbibe," Graham explains. "These images were made on that precise point of life in and around the clubs and bars of a middle European city. Most are left stained with the colors of clubs and bars - neon blue blacklight, deep reds, yellows, greens." He continues, "The whole series is sequenced as a single turn, a slow pirouette—a clear reference to the cycle of life, of which this is one of the first images. The young woman turns away, her head turned up, back, as she listens? dreams? thinks? feels? Unknowable moments exist in all of us, a mystery even to ourselves, and they should stay that way.”

Viewing this image today, I find that these emotions still strongly resonate with me. This young woman, in a seemingly euphoric state, is at a turning point in her life. Her choices and decisions will influence her fate and, perhaps, those of others. As I contemplate the current state of the world and what brought us here, I can’t help but think: What did I do to make a difference? What will I do to make a difference now? I return to those vestiges of youth and fear of the unknown, but also to the passion and motivation to fight for and incite change—and embrace them more than ever.

64034.AP1.jpeg

Paul Graham, End of an Age #2, 1997, pigment print mounted to Dibond, 60" × 45" image, 70" × 53-1/2" paper and mount, 72-1/2" × 56-1/2" × 1-3/4" frame, signed in ink on label affixed verso to frame, Edition of 3 with 1 AP © Paul Graham

The waxing days of youth are an intriguing yet difficult time—the point of life where responsible adulthood beckons, yet grants a last chance to indulge youthful desires

Paul Graham

Essays — Photography in Focus: Paul Graham, Jul 14, 2020