July 1, 2014

Martine Fougeron

Teen Tribe


The work explores adolescence as a liminal state, between childhood and adulthood, between the feminine and the masculine and between innocence and a burgeoning self-identity. The focus is on the adolescents’ heightened states of mind. —Martine Fougeron

Martine Fougeron’s Teen Tribe is an intimate portrait of her sons and their friends in both New York and France. From a unique perspective, the series is a coming of age story depicting the universal desire to become both a strong individual and part of a group. The Gallery at Hermès is pleased to present 23 color photographs from this recently completed body of work.

Fougeron began her series, Teen Tribe, in 2005 when her two Franco-American sons were 13 and 14 and followed them for six years. This was also the moment when Fougeron turned to photography for the first time since she was a teenager. She combined a worldly eye with the freshness of a new medium finding a delicate balance between mother and observer. We witness everyday life and the rites of passage found within it. You see Adrien trying to fit into his mother’s oversized jean jacket at 13, two years later reading The Catcher in the Rye, Nicolas leaning in for a kiss and napping in the strong sun.

The gaze is telling in these pictures. The boys are figuring out who they are and who they want to become while staring out at both their mother and the artist, the push and pull of separating from family while gaining strength from it. Growing up is not always easy, but Fougeron gracefully shows us the metamorphosis in all its complicated beauty.

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