New York Photo Review
Volume 4 Issue 17 April 17 to 23, 2013

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino

Life on the Rails
Mike Brodie
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity
Jeremy Sailing

Photo by Mike Brodie . Source:
Mike Brodie, "#5060" 2006–2009.
In many ways Mike Brodie is living the counterculture dream. Traveling vast distances with next to nothing on what seems to be an endless road, (or track in his case,) Mike-–AKA “The Polaroid Kidd” has ventured over 50,000 miles through 46 different states. From the age of 18 he was able to capture a youthful sense of freedom and spontaneity outside the normal post-high school jump into adulthood. The young artist/adventurer shows us what we tend to overlook when thinking of children arriving into adulthood, or of the tough leathered souls of troubled youth so often seen in New York.

A Period of Juvenile Prosperity at the Yossi Milo Gallery displays 30 images of young, train-hopping street punks photographed between 2004-2009, all of whom Mike knew personally. These intimate portraits of friends covered in pick-poke knuckle tattoos, blackened hands and feet, re-sewn patched jeans, and greasy, tousled hair depict a journey completely bypassing the one most people choose to ride in today’s mainstream society.

With the simple Polaroid camera a friend graciously donated, Mike earned himself a street name, but eventually he switched to 35 mm film. Having no formal training, Mike brought an innocent viewpoint to photography, one more taken with the idea and story than the purely technical. His work reminds me of a young Ryan McGinley, or even that of Nan Goldin — depicting life freely as it happens, photographing with an extremely tight bond with his subjects. Friends sharing a can of beans, girlfriends huddled up in muddy sleeping bags- all hanging on for dear life as the train tracks cease to end— the brutal truth of life on a limb. Some of Mike’s photographs are rather vile and outlandish, and rather unsettling to some (as observed on a quiet Wednesday afternoon in Chelsea with the senior crowd.)

Photo by Mike Brodie . Source:
Mike Brodie, "#5126", 2006–2009 .
Dirt and grime and smell seem deeply embedded in Brodie’s prints. Yet, many of his prints have a warm, faded summer tone to them. Upon entering Yossi Milo Gallery, the images all seem to resonate a strong feeling of Appalachian mountain culture during the Great Depression. Or even a slow counterculture journey lead by Jack Kerouac through the unknowing void, hoping for something of prosper at the end of the tunnel. Punk kids with nowhere to go and all the time in the world riding dangerously close to death with an attitude that screams “Fuck the rules!”

Mike Brodie
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity

Yossi Milo Gallery
245 Tenth Ave Ground Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 414 0370

Thursday, March 7 to
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Hours: Tue-Sat, 10 to 6

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat