Oh, Florida, you really made me love you a lot last night.
An excellent point the show made last night is that Florida (Central Florida in particular) has this cultural perception of being strictly a tourist destination, an entire section of the country existing as this homogenized and commodified culture made safe for mass consumption. Let’s not kid ourselves, that’s a big part of this state. But, like everything, this is just the veneer, and if you’re curious or adventurous enough, Florida will surprise you with its treasures.
Treasures like the photography of Christopher Bolton. This one sold within minutes of the gallery opening. Not surprising in the least.
Louise Erhard’s photographs of a dilapidated, yet still operational, motel near West Palm Beach, another pocket of Florida that’s got more stories than anyone can handle.
My mom and the kitsch wall.
Kitsch has been a part of Florida long before the mouse invasion. That comes with being a sunny climate most of the calender year.
You can either be annoyed by this crass expression of consumerism, or you can be charmed by the ideal and naive worldview that it represents. I think most Floridians look at it through both lenses from time to time.
Here is a secret of Florida that outsiders don’t know. We have springs. They call to us. We go to them. They fill us with life.
A new (to me) photographer who’s work I regrettably failed to capture last night was Ted Hollins who photographs the Zora! festival every year. The images on his website are hard to find but check out the photo grid in the lower left. Some amazing shots. More to come on Ted in the future.
This man makes works crazy hard at making a good living doing something amazing in Florida.
Congrats to Jen for not only curating an amazing show, but for helping shed light on the unseen pockets of beauty and horror that lay just beneath the saccharine manicured surface of Florida.