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Hellen van Meene

GET READY. THIS IS NOTHING LESS THAN AN ALL OUT TEENAGE SUPER MAIL! AND YES THERE IS SEX AND DRUGS AND TINNY POP MUSIC BUT BEFORE THAT THERE IS THE SMALL MATTER OF HELLEN VAN MEENE'S FIRST BOOK. JUST SIXTEEN PAGES BUT PERFECT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.

Published in 1999 by the Photographers Gallery in London. It is small and slight, but so incredibly powerful. The cover alone makes this one of the most special superbooks we have ever written about.

Van Meene has a sensitivity to these subjects which goes beyond photography. She can see the girls so clearly, the camera is the just a means of capturing that understanding.

The teenage girl older and stronger. The awkwardness thrown off. Who would not want to look like that again, or ever, for that matter?

The back cover is equally brilliant. Another girl in too tight underwear. Pressing her face against the metal stair rail, the weight of the whole adult world bearing down on her shoulders.

The pictures don't bear being over described. These two portraits in particular are almost too personal to comment upon. You can see the images much better on this link.

In bed. This is as far as Van Meene follows her subjects. Of course, it is pretty much where Larry Clark would get started...

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