“Cowboys, Outlaws, Beat poets. The North American frontier is an enduring symbol of romance, rebellion, escape, and freedom.” However, photographer Justine Kurland reclaimed this space in her series of images of teenage girls.
The girls that she portrayed carry a fearless freedom which is the opposite of male. They hunt and explore, braid each other’s hair, lick melted chocolate off their fingers, whip their hair back. Her work is a utopia portrayed by a young girl with punk spirit, and these beauties flow from the photographs along with candy wrappers and crushed soda cans.
The particular appeal of Justin Kurland's work lies in the balance between fantasy and fact. The photographer herself is never on camera, but the work carries a strong sense of autobiography and a desire to both escape and fight back. She records and allegorises these feelings, creating her own Garden of Eden.