Press Release

2-4-6-8: American Cheerleaders and Football Players
Photographs by Brian Finke
Essays by Kathy Ryan and Zev Borow

2-4-6-8 is a serio-comic guided tour into the megaphone world of pyramids and liberties, pom-poms and back-bends, tackles and touchdowns. Narrated with affection and respect, it snaps and waves like a flag.

"I think he’s remarkable in his ability to zero in on a person or persons, and somehow make them seem like the celebrity of that moment."

-Kathy Ryan, New York Times Picture Editor

‘Sexy, cute, and popular to boot’ describes the subjects of photographer Brian Finke’s energetic documentation of the inner life of the American cheerleader. Across the country, deep into the heartland, from coast to coast and overseas, these smiling and sometimes tear-stained faces reveal the youthful natural character of quintessential Americana: crowd-pleasing, stunt-building, toe-touching, skirt-flipping, hand-clapping girls and boys in full adolescent throttle. With their pitch-perfect feeling, these images take you into the win or the loss, the intensity of friendships, rivalries, mentoring, competing, self-image and self-worth that is the core of adolescence. Complementing the photographs are commentaries from the cheerleaders themselves on the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the life of Cheer. “There are two kinds of girls,” one cheerleader puts it, “Cheerleaders and those who wanna be them.” Four million cheerleaders are flying, jumping and kicking in small towns and big cities alike. Cheer loud, cheer proud!

BRIAN FINKE graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1998 with a BFA in Photography. His work has been featured in periodicals such as The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Details, Esquire, Time and Newsweek, as well as in the book Here is New York. He has received several prestigious grants and awards, including the Award of Excellence from The Alexia Foundation for World Peace (1998) and the World Press Photo Masterclass Award (2001). Finke`s photographs have been exhibited internationally and are included in collections worldwide. Brian Finke lives and works in New York City.

KATHY RYAN is the Photo Editor of The New York Times Magazine and lives in New York City.

ZEV BOROW writes for magazines and television. He began his career at Might Magazine in San Francisco, and his work has since appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Spin, GQ, Vibe, Wired, ESPN the Magazine, and Mcsweeney`s. Borow currently lives in New York City.

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