Olivia Bee: Kids in LoveInterview by Tavi Gevinson
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Olivia Bee is celebrated for her dreamy, evocative portraits and landscapes rich with implied narratives of intimacy, freedom, and adventure. Olivia Bee: Kids in Love showcases two bodies of photographic work, including the series, Enveloped in a Dream, that first brought Bee recognition as a teenager. This first series offers a visual diary of girlhood friendship and the exploration of self, showcasing Bee’s unique ability to convey the bittersweet nostalgia of adolescence on the brink of adulthood and new possibilities. The second set of images, Kids in Love, is drawn from recent work and continues Bee’s photographic chronicle of her circle of friends and new loves, capturing both the pleasures and terrors of the fleeting passage of romanticized youth. While the work continues to evolve, what remains constant is her seductive use of color and photographic artifact, as well as the immediacy and charge of each image.
Bee gives voice to the self-awareness and visual fluency of the millennial generation. Experiences are sharply felt, and easily communicated and shared, generating visual records that render these memories as significant as the moments themselves. Tavi Gevinson, founding editor of the online magazine Rookie and Bee’s frequent collaborator and model, writes about the work and about the role of images as social currency in today’s image-driven world.
Olivia Bee (born in Portland, Oregon, 1994) is based in Brooklyn. After the recognition received for her photographs on social media, Converse commissioned Bee, at the age of fifteen, to shoot her first ad. She has since gone on to shoot campaigns for brands such as Hermès, Levi’s, and editorial features for publications such as Vogue, Vice, New York, the New York Times, and Le Monde. Her photography has been featured in two solo shows at Agnès B, New York, and Bernal Espacio, Madrid.
Tavi Gevinson (interview) is the founding editor of Rookie, an online publication for teenage girls. A prominent voice of her generation, Gevinson received early acclaim for the fashion blog she started at age eleven, the now-defunct Style Rookie. In addition to writing, Gevinson has acted in the Emmy Award–winning TV series Modern Family; films such as Enough Said, Cadaver, and First Bass; and the Broadway play This is Our Youth.