Artsy Editorial

Youth Culture through the Ages

Visual Culture
Youth Culture in 2018
From breakout artists and CGI influencers to key visual moments, this is what youth culture looked like in 2018.
Michelle Santiago Cortés
Dec 24, 2018
Visual Culture
The Early 2000s
These photographers immortalized a decade notorious for its bad fashion and auto-tuned music. This bizarre cult of youth dominated the aughts.
Demie Kim
Sep 22, 2017
Visual Culture
The ’90s
Photographers like Corinne Day and Wolfgang Tillmans captured the zeitgeist of ’90s youth—the last to experience a world without omnipresent technology.
Molly Gottschalk
Jul 21, 2016
Visual Culture
The ’80s
From a Polaroid of a young, denim-clad Madonna to an image of two boys riding the NYC subway with a giant boombox, these images perfectly capture this era of rebellious youth.
Rachel Lebowitz
Nov 29, 2017
Visual Culture
The ’70s
From the discotheques of New York and Burkina Faso to the black beauty pageants of London, this bold generation came of age during an era of social change.
Jacqui Palumbo
Mar 21, 2019
Visual Culture
Tokyo Youth
Shōmei Tōmatsu, Shoichi Aoki, Nan Goldin, and others have documented the youth movements and subcultures of the wildly eclectic city of Tokyo.
Ha Duong
Nov 01, 2018
Visual Culture
Skate Culture
Since the early 1970s and the genesis of the Z-Boys, artists have chronicled the adventurousness, camaraderie, and exuberance of skateboarding.
Alexxa Gotthardt
Jul 30, 2018
Visual Culture
Rave Culture
Raves are more than temporary escapes—they are places for self-discovery and social change. These photographers have captured the euphoric spirit of rave culture.
Ha Duong
Sep 07, 2018
About the Series

Young people herald social change, dictate consumer trends, and pioneer trends in fashion, art, and technology. Youth culture becomes the culture as each successive generation comes of age. Artsy’s series “Youth Culture through the Ages” features glimpses into decades, places, and subcultures through the eyes of the photographers and artists who have immortalized their respective generations—Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley, Lauren Greenfield, Jamel Shabazz, and Rineke Dijkstra among them. From the student movements of post-war Japan, to the hedonistic nightlife of 1980s Germany, to black beauty pageants in 1970s London, this series explores identity, change, and uncertainty among the teens and twentysomethings of each era.