In Images of Sun-Drenched Skateboard Adventures, David Meskhi Captures Youthful Abandon

Meskhi sees photography as a mode of communication and connection, and he approaches his image-making in this spirit. If he can make viewers feel they’ve been swept into his scenes, then he knows he is doing something right. Working in both color and black-and-white, he explores a range of subjects in extended series. Previously, Meskhi has captured eclipses, waterfalls, and fields of windswept grass with a dreamy softness. In this new work, he has turned his camera on young adults; capturing their fragility and self-possession in tender, intimate portraits.
Skateboarding teens are at the center of one of Meskhi’s recent photographic series, “Satellites at Night.” The project features mid-scale color and black-and-white photographs displayed in light boxes scattered around a darkened exhibition space. To move through the space is to navigate this field of glowing images, which serve as the only points of light in the room. Meskhi slows down time to an instant here, capturing the rushing skaters in crisp images colored by the soft blues of the sea and sky that backs them.
Taken from farther away, another photograph shows a boy testing his mettle against a scattering of obstacles on what looks like an airport landing strip in the middle of nowhere in a vast landscape. There’s a sunny, faded quality to the color that, combined with the subject matter, recalls a Southern California landscape, circa 1975—in all its bohemian abandon. Scenes of nature punctuate those of skateboarding. In one, bubbles float whimsically over the tops of tall grasses, as fleeting as the adolescence on full display nearby.