“As a young female artist, I never saw a place for my work, didn’t see images I felt reflected me anywhere,” writes 21-year-old photographer Petra Collins in the introduction to new photo book Babe. When she realized that there weren’t many places for young artists to publish work that specifically deals with femininity, sexuality, and teenage life, she decided to make her own: The website The Ardorous became a platform for Collins and artists who resonate with her to share their work and ideas. Babe is a curated selection of visual art from the site. The light-pink, hard-bound book that comes out from Prestel this month collects images from 30 of Collins’ favorite artists—the pages contain everything from beautiful collages to a photo of unclean underwear to a screenshot of a Snapchat. Altogether, the collection is a thought-provoking and bold exploration of identity and sexuality that is all-too-rare to see. After paging through Babe slowly several times, I flipped to the contributor section at the back of the book and followed every artist on Instagram—I want to see more of their work, whatever form it takes in the future.
Prestel gave us permission to run several photos from the book in advance of the release. Pick up Babe from your favorite indie bookstore or if you’re in New York, check out the release party this Thursday evening at Strand Books.
Related Reading: An Interview with Rookie Editor Tavi Gevinson