In 1995, a nineteen-year-old Tino Razo moved from his native Vermont to New York City to be closer to his two older brothers, to skateboard, and to study design at the School of Visual Arts. After spending ample time at Max Fish while one of his brothers tended bar, Tino eventually found himself in the same position. For the next twelve years, Tino bartended at night, writing graffiti in the early morning, sleeping until the afternoon, and skating when he could. When Max Fish closed in late 2010 Tino and his wife sought out some needed change and found himself in Los Angeles the following spring.
The move was followed by a divorce, which eventually lead to a rejuvenated energy and desire to embrace his first love, skateboarding, which LA satisfied with its abundance of empty swimming pools. The excitement of discovering, exploring, and skating these pools with his friends was something that Tino could not let go undocumented. During this process, he met homeowners and neighbors, learned about California’s pool makers, and created thousands of photographs.
In Party In The Back, storied skateboarder Tino Razo has documented — and shredded — abandoned backyard swimming pools throughout Southern California. The resulting body of work, showcased here for the first time in Tino’s book, elevates itself beyond a bunch of thrill-seekers navigating the suburban landscape, juxtaposing renegade sessions by world class skateboarders with dramatic architectural photographs of a lost American dream. Party In The Back is a lyrical photo-eulogy for this disappearing pool culture, bathed in the golden Southern Californian light.
Check out photos from the Party in The Back below, and buy a copy here.