Celebrated 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.
Tino Razo was born in Vermont. At 19, he moved to New York City where he studied design at the School of Visual Arts and spent the next 12 years bartending at night, writing graffiti in the early morning, sleeping until the afternoon, and skating when he could. Tino began looking for some needed change and found himself in Los Angeles, with a rejuvenated energy and desire to skate, 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.