Fresno, CA-born photographer Tony Stamolisâ new book "Frezno" examines life in Californiaâs sixth largest city with vivid, stark and honest imagery. Stamolis captures his hometown, once a beacon of booming surburbia, with a seedy, fluorescent pallor.
The cover shot—two shirtless youths wearing KISS-inspired makeup and black jeans and standing under high-voltage electricity towers—sets the tone for Stamolisâs return-to-home pictorial essay. Other images show a masked man tending marijuana crops; one portrait depicts a heavily tattooed man with his back to the camera flaunting a bold âFrezneckâ emblazoned in green script across his shoulder blades; and another captures a lone shaggy skater making use of an empty swimming pool, his shadow contrasting the decaying cracks in the bowl.
Rounding out the portraits, still life pictures, like Christmas tree holders carelessly strewn on what appears to be a store shelf, offer more subtle hints at Fresno life. While Stamolis lives in New York and has shot for the New York Times, Black Book and Giant, his intimate relationship with home resonates in the familiarity with which he approaches his subjects. The downtrodden Fresno that Stamolis depicts is an affectionately up-close look at pure Americana frozen in the frame.
Stamolis celebrates the book launch 20 November 2008 at Stricola Contemporary in New York City.
More images after the jump.