III Points Festival 2014: Diggy Lloyd Makes Millennials Cry in Her 20-Something Series

Reducing a person to a sobbing heap is a rare trick for any artist. But for photographer Diggy Lloyd, it often happens before she's even pressed her shutter release.

"It hits them without warning," she says of the millennials she has been shooting and interviewing for her 20-Something series, on traveling display throughout Wynwood during III Points. "A lot of the time, it becomes a therapy session.

"This is a generation that when we get ready to go out, we know it's going to be documented on the internet somehow. They're used to being photographed, but all anyone asks us is 'How's it going?' "

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All too infrequently do people answer with, "I don't want to sound like an asshole," or a confession that one's life goal is to be "a MILF." Not so here.

Depending upon one's disposition toward 20-somethings, Lloyd's subjects may be idealized lust objects or a checklist of people to bludgeon. (For what it's worth, Lloyd has been told that people have been bringing pictures from the series to their hairdressers for inspiration.)

Similarly, the answers might tell a universal story of the struggle to find one's identity, or they could reinforce every last millennial stereotype.

No one asked vets fresh from Guadalcanal: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" But the 20-somethings' handwritten answers to this question, displayed beside their photographs, range from the monosyllabic to cramped, heavily revised scrawl that an ATF agent might bag with tweezers.

Responses strive toward personal fulfillment, vague notions of entrepreneurship, or improbable careers in the arts and elsewhere -- "explorer," "astronaut," and "outer space explorer" all get mentions. Lloyd notes it "was one of the most difficult economic times as we were graduating. Getting a job and working and all the things that America was built on, they were gone."

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B. Caplan

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