Esdras Thelusma portrays the up-close and personal aspects of photography.
His work views Florida natives in their most vulnerable states.
"When I take a photo, I like to make them uncomfortable. I'm literally all up in [their] grill, nostrils, and all," he says. "That is when I know I have snapped the perfect shot. It's one thing to see someone from a distance, but when you close the gaps, it forces a greater understanding."
Thelusma's piece is now on view at the "Feels Like 97°" lens-based exhibition with Oolite Arts
The free event features artwork by several artists, including Jerry Carnation, Angel Lauren Garcia, Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan, Monica Uszerowicz, and Sofia Valiente.
The pragmatic collection, curated by visual artist Michelle Lisa Polissaint, offers insight into socio-economic issues, including race, class, gentrification, and diversity.
The pieces will be on view by appointment at 928 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach through April 3, 2022.
"Spectators can step into the significant stories that South Florida artists need to tell concerning their neighborhoods plagued by the effects of climate change and gentrification," Polissaint says.
The layout of the artwork is intentional.
"In this setting, you are faced with different panels of work. Each side is cognizant of the other. As you move around, you can gain a different perspective of Florida."
Artist Phillip Karp presents a distinct 2018 archival pigment print from 35mm film in the exhibit entitled Untitled Misael Floating
Karp captures a moment that many can relate to under the Florida sun: the heat. For many, it can be too much to bear, and many venture off, seeking ways to cool off and keep their composure.
His image features a man submerged in water, his body covered in floaties. "It gets really warm in Florida, and many times we are trying to find an escape, a way to cool off," he says.
Monica Sorelle's Miami Hues 3, 2016-2017
Photo courtesy of Monica Sorelle
Monica Sorelle's Miami Hues
shifts from homes, storefronts, and nature, displaying an assortment of orange, pink, black, and brown. The Instagram project is Sorelle's conception of a Miami monument, constructed of a barred door, white awning, and colored concrete.
"This work is symbolic of my journey to loving where I came from," she says. "After going to college to pursue my art and coming back, I realized [that it] had always been right in front of me."
Terrance Price II’s video piece entitled Eatonville • Fish Fry, 2017-2021
documents the natural bustle of family events over a four-year period. The intensity to prepare, assemble, and entertain within the community. It is happiness, home, divine culture, and generational traditions.
"It all started with my grandfather," Price says. "He would film everything, and I mean everything! Family events were wholesome, and I wanted to keep these memories relevant. You see the smiles on the people's faces. The loud music and great food. These are the moments I live for."
– Shanieya Harris, ArtburstMiami.com
"Feels Like 97°" On view through April 3, 2022, at Oolite Arts, 928 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-8278; oolitearts.org. Admission is free by appointment only.