In January of 1974, David GODLIS, then a 22-year-old photo student, took a ten-day trip to Miami Beach, Florida. Excited to visit a place he had frequented a decade earlier as a kid, GODLIS set his sights on an area of slightly outdated efficiency art deco hotels that was then a busy Jewish retiree enclave on the expansive beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean. These retirees, all dressed up in their best beach outfits, would spend their days on lounges and lawn chairs, playing cards amidst the sunshine and palm trees. GODLIS walked his way through this somewhat surrealistic scene, shooting what he now considers his first good photographs and in so doing he discovered his own Street Photography style. GODLIS shot 60 rolls of black and white film in just ten days, making his way up and down the beaches, chatting up and photographing what he didn’t know then was essentially the end of an era. The area he photographed in 1974 is now the infamous South Beach.
“I first went to Miami Beach when I was a kid in the 1950s. There are black and white snapshots of me sitting on the beach, wearing my Davy Crockett T-shirt, squinting under palm trees. My grandparents had retired there. For Jewish Eastern European immigrants, who had lived out their working life on the streets of New York City, retiring to sunshine, warm weather, beaches and palm trees was a slice of heaven. For a kid visiting in the 1950s and early 1960s, it was like going to Jewish Disneyland. Goodbye snow. Hello coconuts. And so, when I returned to Miami Beach in 1974, with a camera, all these memories of Florida came flowing back to me. As I tripped the shutter over and over, taking pictures on those beaches I had walked upon as a little kid, everything clicked. Pun intended.”
OUT OCTOBER 2021
Hardback, 128pp; 245 x 200 mm / 9.5 x 7.75 in.
100 b/w photographs