TIME photobook

A Visual Diary of Youth in New York’s Streets

The book addresses the community own lack of representation in the media

Being young, wild, and free looks different in the streets of New York.

In The Importants, Kevin Amato brings together over 200 photos that capture his own experiences living in the South Bronx. The title of his book comes from a term Amato has coined for his group of friends and subjects.

Amato’s photographs read like a visual diary of his life in New York. Working in the traditions of Larry Clark and Nan Goldin, his images show the gritty, face-paced, life of being young in New York. Combining both commercial assignments and day-in-the-life snapshots, this series of photographs plays with the relationship between fashion and street culture and offer a different perspective that works against Amato’s community own lack of representation in the media.

Kevin AmatoCover and spread from the book “The Importants”

The design of Amato’s book flows seamlessly with the energy of his photographs. A constantly moving layout, images dance across the pages, overlap, and bleed into one another; never creating a consistent pattern for the reader.

The Importants matches its subject matter, expressing the youthful community in New York where things are constantly moving and changing.

Kevin Amato is a New York based photographer. His book The Importants is published by Phaidon and available now. Follow him on Instagram.

Cassidy Paul is a contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Instagram.

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