Nate Lowman Does It for the Kids

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Published August 6, 2010

 

 

Nate Lowman’s new installation at 80WSE Windows, “Stay In School,” features recycled images, ripped from magazines and newspapers, which capture young people engaged in violence and tomfoolery. They’re simply “weird situations,” Lowman says.

For “Stay In School,” Lowman constructed sheetrock walls in the exhibition space, and then took a hammer to them. Pairs of images are displayed on the walls and within them. On one wall, the jagged hole reveals a black-and-white photograph of boys in military garb; below, a pixilated image of the poster for the film about disturbed adolescence, Thirteen. Next to it, Lowman posts a newspaper image of a baby dressed as a suicide bomber (an unfortunate joke made by the New York Post), above a blown-up photograph of 1980s-era California skate punks, framed in torn-up sheetrock. The third and final window frames a photo of a young couple, the man holding a gun against his girlfriend’s head, above a tabloid cover chronicling the scandal over Prince Harry’s Nazi Halloween costume.

“Stay in School” is about education, good, bad, and lacking. And as part of NYU’s Steinhardt School, 80WSE Windows overlooks the student-heavy Washington Square Park. Lowman depicts young people for young people.

“I had liked the way that the window was broken up into three sections and was sort of thinking of groups of images, and what the demographic of the people in that neighborhood largely is,” says Lowman. “I’ve always collected images that had to do with young people in weird situations, whether it was young suicide bombers or young pop stars, celebrities or young sports people, or whatever it is, but either compromised or interesting or fanatical situations.”

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