A Peculiar Paradise: Florida Photographs by Nathan Benn shows the Sunshine State at the dawn of the ‘80s. Though some regions rested like the state’s alligators––staid and satisfied––other areas became a hotbed for the narcotics trade and a hub for Caribbean and South American immigration. This increasing cultural diversity and the state’s innate peculiarity is captured by Benn, a Florida native.
“Kodachrome film’s distinctive color palette seems tailor-made to its purpose here, displayed to full effect with expressive composition and sumptuous texture,” writes the publisher, PowerHouse Books. “Benn’s vibrant, idiosyncratic images reflect the charming, sometimes dangerous, chaos of Florida at the time, a place that came to embody both the quintessence of suburban Americana and the depth of the melting pot, and the source of Benn’s own nostalgic longing.”
Nathan Benn was born and grew up in Miami, Florida. Immediately upon graduation from the University of Miami in 1972 he became a photographer for the National Geographic Society, where he remained for 20 years. He was the Director of Magnum Photos, Inc. from 2000 through 2002. In 2013 powerHouse Books published his award-winning monograph Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Brooklyn, New York.
The release of A Peculiar Paradise coincides with an exhibition of photographs from the book at HistoryMiami Museum in Miami, Florida (November 8, 2018 – April 14, 2019). For more information, visit www.apeculiarparadise.com.
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