Awkward, 2011

In my previous series on teenagers I portrayed the complex issues confronted by girls during adolescence; self-awareness, social peer pressure, conformity and their place in society. Here I have chosen to show the social limitations and anxieties that girls endure in their relationships with the opposite sex.

I again asked my models to show neutral facial expressions with static body posture and minimum gestures. In this series my choice of location, sombre colours and the use of subtle lighting techniques I was able to increase the tension between the sexes, in some instances between the same sexes - almost to breaking point.

I have tried to emphasise the lack of understanding between the boys and girls, despite the fact that they are close to adulthood and have gained at least some meaningful worldly experience on the way. They are aware of the underlying sexual overtones, but they still don't have the emotional maturity or social skills to know how to handle their hormonal impulses.

For this shoot I once again used non-professional, street-cast models. This heightened the degree of awkwardness which I try to capture in all of my images. At the same time - not unlike in my other series - many details are autobiographical.

I emphasise here a lack of communication between the teenagers. On the other hand I am also making a observation on today's society. Here, we have teenagers brought up in affluence; a world of high fashion, powerful advertising, more private and sexual freedom than any other generation before. Yet they show no ability to interact socially. For all the freedom in their lives, they are plainly uncomfortable and tense in each other's company. They appear to suffer an emotional isolation from the other sex.