Olivia Bee has accomplished more than most photographers will in their lifetime, and she's not even old enough to legally buy alcohol. The subject of her age is not much of a novelty, but it's truly something incredible. At the age of 15, she was commissioned to shoot for Converse, and she has gone onto work with the likes of Hermès, Harper's Bazaar Germany, The New York Times, Nike… the list goes on.
It's no surprise, then, that Bee's first solo New York exhibition, "Kids in Love," was much anticipated. It's a collection of personal photographs taken since she began photography, at 11 years old. The opening on Friday, June 20 at the agnès b. Galerie Boutique was packed, mostly with people under the age of 30. Peers and older visitors alike were simply in awe, moving from wall-to-wall with smiles plastered on their faces. Photographs that fostered her fan base on the Internet are now gorgeous prints, a progression both photographer and audience have experienced together.
"It was great to feel like a real artist with work on the walls and not just on the Internet," she told Complex about the night.
The photographs on view include Codependency Before College, Pre-Kiss, and Bad Day, which is a stunning self-portrait of Bee with tears matting her eyelashes. The titles speak for themselves; they represent the warm, romantic, and sometimes tragic atmosphere of her work. Though Bee has been compared to other snapshot photographers, like Ryan McGinley, her portfolio is unique in its innate tenderness and her clear, emotional presence in every image.
"Kids in Love" is open from June 20 to July 27, 2014 at the agnès b. Galerie Boutique in New York.