Skater – portraits by Nikki Toole
30 June 2012 to 9 September 2012
Since July 2009, Nikki Toole has been making photographic portraits of skateboarders around the world. Her subjects are photographed in the spaces they inhabit, captured in still frontal pose against the textured backdrop of the urban environment or in landscapes at the edge of cities.
Curated by Dr Christopher Chapman, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, this special exhibition features 19 black and white photographic portraits that examine identity within skater culture. Toole asks whether there is a ‘global look’ or if there is still a place for the individual or the loner to express him or herself. She is driven by the desire to understand and commune with her subjects while exploring the forces of identity that define the lone skateboarder.
Rather than depict the skaters in action shots, Toole has chosen to focus her lens on a different angle. As a result these black and white portraits evoke stillness and depth as each subject holds their skateboard, and their gaze, as they stare intently into the camera towards the viewer.