Liam’s Street Photography Exhibit – Pedestrians 1985 & 2015

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Liam Crotty has a new exhibition opening February 1st – May 14th 2016. It will be located in Miami, Florida at the Main Library on the 2nd floor exhibition space. The overall focus will be on comparing street photography done on Flagler street by David D. Spitzer in 1985 vs. how Flagler street looks 30 years later, created by Liam Crotty.

The excerpt for the exhibit is provided below:

Curated by Liam Crotty & Oscar Fuentes

Photography by Liam Crotty & David D. Spitzer

The inspiration for this street photography exhibit began 30 years ago when photographer David D. Spitzer created a unique body of work.  Spitzer’s concept was to walk up and down Flagler Street – which is considered to be the commercial heart of old Miami — specifically between Biscayne Boulevard on the East and the County Court House on the West documenting people and street life along the way.

Fast forward 30 years.  Spitzer’s concept completely resonated with Miami street photographer Liam Crotty, who had the idea of recreating it — thus playing upon a theme Crotty had used in 2008, when he recreated some of Norman Rockwell’s work in his exhibit: “Finding Norman Rockwell’s Small Town America.”

With his current exhibit, Crotty’s goal is to portray Flagler Street by highlighting the differences that have occurred over 30 years: people, fashion, hair styles, automobiles, signage, and businesses. Some are the same but most has changed; Crotty uses his camera as a time machine, linking both past and future into timeless photography. 

Despite these generational differences, there are many similarities between Spitzer’s and Crotty’s work:  both used a 35mm format camera although Crotty used digital and Spitzer used film; both used a fixed 28mm lens; both used natural light versus artificial; and both used a street photography style called “hip shooting” – composing a photograph without putting the camera’s viewfinder up to your eye, instead, holding the camera at chest-level or hip level so as not to draw attention to the photographer and disturb the subjects. It creates a less threatening environment between the photographer and the subject who remain more at ease and don’t react.  This method helps the photographer to become a documentarian and not a director.

But the exhibit’s central theme remains the same.  It’s about people.  It’s about a neighborhood which is the heart and commercial center of a young, burgeoning city.  And it becomes a historic, visual record.  Crotty & Spitzer challenge the viewers to see for themselves the similarities and differences between the two eras.

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