Lauren Ward and Alex Kweskinhave created “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” a series of young Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Photographed at the barbershop where the men and women get their regulation haircut each Sunday, the images encapsulate the feelings of strength and vulnerability straddled by the newly minted Marines.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is on view at The Lodge in Los Angeles through June 1.
The black and white portraits are sparse and direct, the details and expressions of the face and eyes enough to remind us that youth expires. The series asks, “what is it that marks the termination of innocence? How will the Corps affect the future lives and identities of the people pictured?”
The title of the series comes from a Robert Frost poem:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Thought we may not be able to maintain the innocence and beauty of youth, is what we gain through living (loss, change, acumen) the paradoxical blessing?