Skip to content
Outlaw attitude: skaters, saunas and spontaneous stripping – in pictures

Mist, 2013

The Guardian

April 25, 2024


Outlaw attitude: skaters, saunas and spontaneous stripping – in pictures

Magdalena Wosinska spent the 1990s hanging out with bands, skateboarders and whoever else crossed her path. These photos capture blissful free spirits.

Magdalena Wosinska captures the American skate culture of the 1990s through colour and black-and-white snapshots. The scene’s energy, creativity and rebellious spirit influenced fashion, music and artistic expression, shaping a generation of young people. Of this image, she says: ‘One of my closest friends was inspired to cut my hair like this at a hot spring just outside of Portland’. Magdalena Wosinska: Fulfill the Dream is at Fahey Klein gallery until 1 June 2024. It is being held in conjunction with a new monograph available from Homecoming.

Wosinska moved to the US with her parents in 1991 from communist Poland. She found solace and belonging in the skateboarding subculture during the 90s; it became her passion and inspiration. At 14, she began taking pictures, with the dream of shooting the cover of a skate magazine (Thrasher). In time she found success in fine art, editorial, and commercial photography. Central to Wosinska’s photography is the celebration of spontaneity: ‘The one time it really snowed in the desert. Arielle and I roasted in a sauna then did snow angels to cool off’

‘I started photographing a group of cowboys and cowgirls in south LA back in 2018. We all bonded really well so I started getting invited to all their events. This was a photo taken after a BBQ birthday party in West Gate’

Her subjects are portrayed genuinely, without artifice or pretence, inviting viewers to reflect on their own sense of identity. ‘After chasing Joaquin down the Warner Brothers parking lot, him skating, me on a bike with two film cameras photographing him, we finally got a quiet and calm moment in this set house. I reloaded my film, we both took a deep breath, let our guard down and snapped this image’

‘I’ve been photographing the Foo Fighters for over 10 years. This was in the back of their studio with their first ever tour van from the mid-90s. They are always down for my ideas so I really like working with them. We have so much fun together’

Through intimate portraits she explores the complexities of selfhood, highlighting the interplay between inner emotions and outward appearances. ‘It was a misty day in Angeles Crest. Molly, Lexi and I stripped off our clothes, pressed the self-timer button and ran across the road, goofing around like kids’

Each image exudes a sense of liberation and outlaw attitude. Her book serves as a time capsule of the skateboarding scene, capturing intimate moments from a unique perspective, as one of the few women deeply embedded in the culture. ‘Cowboy Josh was one of my favourite skaters to photograph. Great style and always willing to jump off something crazy for a good photo’

My dream as a teenage girl was to own a 69 Chevelle. I finally got one when I was 30. This was the first ride I ever took in Bruce, to the Crest’

‘I grew up loving choppers. This was taken in January 2024 in northern Australia of my friend Matty South’

‘I was kayaking with a friend and saw this group of teenagers on top of a cliff on a tiny island in a lake. I rushed back to shore, grabbed my camera, climbed to the top of the cliff and got this shot’

'Typical Sunday in the mid-90s, no one had a phone, we would just hang together and skate, jump fences and run from cops’

‘I was shooting a campaign for Converse - this was one of the locations to shoot a skate photo’

‘Teens hanging out on a little cliff island in the California summer. I took these images from a kayak below’