There is nothing that particularly distinguishes the teenagers in the portraits as aspiring artists. They resemble the same scruffy and hopeful kids you might find in any local high school. While it is naïve to assume one can identify artists by their appearance alone, but there are always clues. In the small collection of eighteen students, there is the typically motley crew of metalheads, Goths and loveable misfits who might gravitate towards art classes – an oasis amidst the drudgery of standardized tests and the general malaise of high school. In the end, they defy such snide or easy categorization. They seem happy, eager to explore the world, and perhaps more than a little flattered by the attention from an artist like Gossage, who sees in them a little of himself. In his attention, Gossage offers hope that their dreams are not crazy and remain wholly possible, not only in the small world of high school, where such aspirations are often belittled, but also in the larger world they stand on the threshold of entering.
Reviewed by Adam Bell