Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity

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“A vivid photographic record of a teen subculture living a perilous life on the tracks” –the Guardian

At age 17, American photographer Mike Brodie hopped his first train close to home in Pensacola, Florida thinking he would visit a friend in Mobile, Alabama. Instead, the train went in the opposite direction to Jacksonville, Florida. Though he returned home a few days later, it sparked a desire to wander across the United States by any means that were free: walking, hitchhiking and train hopping. Despite having no formal training in photography, Brodie took a camera salvaged from behind a carseat and began to document his experiences on 35mm film. His portraits of fellow rail-riders have a soft, romantic warmth that belies Brodie’s earnestness. A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, Brodie’s first book, now in its fifth edition, was named one of the best photo books of 2013 by the Guardian, the New York Times, the Telegraph and American Photo Magazine.

Mike Brodie (born 1985) began his photography career while hitchhiking across the United States. He is best known for his images of young rail-riders and nomads and became known as the “Polaroid Kidd” among this itinerant community. After publication of A Period of Juvenile Prosperity Brodie took a hiatus from the art world, but not from photography. He has continued photographing for the past decade, and is currently editing a book of new work planned for release in 2024.

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