Marie Tomanova: New York New York

Published September 21, 2021

New York-based Czech photographer Marie Tomanova (born 1984) follows her 2019 book Young American with the second volume of color portraits of the noughties generation in New York City.

Tomanova pays particular attention to the diverse faces of America’s future and their process of vitally reshaping notions of gender, society and culture. Captivating and sincere, her diaristic work is imbued with the vitality and raw spirit of American youth. Her subjects are photographed at parties, art openings, parks and apartments with their faces filling the majority of the image frames. They share an intimate gaze that stares directly back at the lens, framed by a variety of hair, makeup, piercings and skin tones.
Tomanova grew up in the Czech Republic and since moving to the United States in 2010 she has used photography to capture her feelings of displacement and evolving sense of belonging in America. Taken together, Tomanova’s series of self-portraits and youth photography reflect her introspective look into issues of identity and isolation.
As photographer Ryan McGinley writes in his introduction to Young American, “This is a future free of gender binaries and stale old definitions of beauty. In Marie’s world people can just simply be. I wish all of America’s youth culture looked like Marie’s photos of downtown, diverse and inclusive.”