Adam, 13

Photo © Liese Ricketts

Beginning today Liese invites you to enjoy the series "13". The coming days you will get to know some of her students. They were all 13 years old when she photographed them. You know Liese Ricketts from the 591 Exhibition "The Magic Bench" and this series of portraits is equally wonderful. The "13" portraits will all be displayed in the gallery view by the end of this daily presentation. - Mr Urbano

Artist Statement

The human face has infinite fascination for me. Although in life we observe a face, with its fugitive identity, momentarily, we are allowed through the photograph to scrutinize expression and gesture in a way normal human interaction does not allow.
This series is titled 13, as I am photographing 13-year olds whom I teach. It is a series I have worked on for four years now and will continue until I retire, perhaps another 10 years. I would like to have 150-200 final images and produce a book of work as well as an exhibition.

I only photograph my students during the school day when we both have a moment free to relate to each other in the environment we share. “Why thirteen?” you may ask. Perhaps it is because thirteen was a magical time in my life. I was so excited to be a new teenager, an age group with cult-like status. I was happy to be at the top of the middle school heap. Everything seemed possible.

For over thirty years I have taught photography to students who are thirteen to eighteen years old. Each year I age; the faces of those before me remain young. I am amazed at the striking and radical change between 8th grade and freshman year. Each year I observe the changes that happen with their bodies, attitudes, and abilities. The freshness, openness, and translucency of my young students’ faces soon change to something else.

I do not know whether I am more photographer than teacher or more teacher than photographer. The line has blurred very comfortably.

Liese A Ricketts Chicago, 2009


Rhonda Boocock said…
I'm really looking forward to this series. Great start!