25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers, Volume 2 showcases 25 more of America’s most promising photographers, 25 years old and younger. Illuminating and sometimes startling, the collection presents work by an emerging generation of photographers at the start of their careers. The first book in the series, published in 2003 by powerHouse Books and CDS Books, was selected as a Best Book of 2003 by Photo District News.
This new volume of 25 Under 25 features photographs selected by renowned photographer Sylvia Plachy that explore the theme of “transitions”: what it means to be in-between, in flux, at odds, in a new state of being—personally, locally, nationally, or internationally. The photographers, who must have been born on or after April 28, 1980, were drawn from a widely publicized, nationwide competition run by CDS. 25 Under 25 presents a wide array of photographs reflecting the world as seen through young but sophisticated eyes—the devastation from Hurricane Katrina; the battle-weary soldiers and civilian casualties of the Iraq War; explicit explorations of sexuality; urban and suburban landscapes. These images, whether of people or of what people leave behind, show us that the human imprint is everywhere, moving, altering, desiring, aspiring to permanence.
“What we search for is a secret, like the pearl in the ocean, not easily found or given up. We are curious, driven, sometimes outgoing, sometimes introverted; much of who we are is visible in our pictures,” Sylvia Plachy writes in her introduction. “Too often, in the service of politics and commerce, photographs are inadequate or false. But here, we project ourselves into these images filled with insight and compassion and enter their collective memory as a continuation in the history of photography. All of these photographers, each in their own perceptive way, surprise us with their finds.”