Many photographers have a distinct expression on their faces every time they take a photo. Juergen Teller appears to be winking at his subjects, one eye closed and an impish smile on his face. Ryan McGinley, deep in focus, appears peaceful and serene. But when Marie Tomanova puts her eye to the viewfinder, she does so with the widest grin you’ve ever seen.
On Wednesday night at Dashwood Books, the young Czech expat was grinning from ear to ear for about three straight hours as she celebrated the launch of her new monograph, New York, New York. A line of people waiting to get their books signed stretched out of the store, which was packed with many of the same young and beautiful faces found in the pages of her books. (Tomanova’s first, Young American, was published in 2019 and quickly became a collector’s item.) New York is a portrait of the city’s new face: the Zoomer club kids, skaters, musicians, models, and artists who have carved out a scene south of Delancey Street. Some are captured in quiet moments in their bedrooms, others in chance encounters on the street or at art openings or parties. And while some are photographed in little or no clothing at all, the book is at its core a profound celebration of personal style and a generation that’s finding itself in radical expression.
At Dashwood, many book signing attendees showed up seemingly dressed for Tomanova, which is to say they looked cool and casual and totally like themselves. As Tomanova signed books, the crowd of fans young and old mingled and mixed on the sidewalk. Alain Levitt, the legendary aughts street photographer, was there to document the scene—and Marie’s energy-giving smile. —Samuel Hine