SB: What is the
new direction that evolved from all this exploration?
RH: The directional change was going from travel or architectural
photography and fine art being separate to architectural photography and fine
art combined. I was shooting fine art all along but not crossing over into the
architectural assignment client work. The clients I have now (the architects)
not only hire me for architectural photos of their buildings but also buy prints
to hang on the walls of the buildings they were designing.
Francis Hoffmann designed this in 1958. Use of "cheeseholes"
to express interplay of light and shadow to dramatic effect. The
blue motif in the center bottom is a paint shop on the other side
of the road.
SB: How did your
various interests work together to combine different markets for photography
in order to make one very good one?
RH: I was always interested in all sorts of things--especially
dance, art, jazz music--and the challenge was to find a market for my various
interests. I had to find a market for what I wanted. If you look at classic
architectural photography you might notice that all photographers go about it
in a similar way--my style is about improvisation and spontaneity. The
MiMo architectural project gave me the opportunity to bring all my interests
together into one.
Norman Giller designed this hotel in 1957. The Carillon Hotel
was the hotel of the year in '57. It is now being redesigned.
Photo was made when a strong wind blew the masonry net to one
side, making the stationary building appear to dance.
SB: How did the
architectural work for MiMo cross over to fine art?
RH: "Art Basel" in Switzerland is one of the biggest
and most prestigious art fairs and it started coming to Miami Beach. Their executive
director picked one of my MiMo pictures for the cover of his program so that's
how the art side started. The MiMo photography exhibit at the Municipal Art
Society was in March of 2002 (it was the best attended exhibit in the 100-year
history of that organization) and one of the attendees was Donald Albrecht.
He is the curator for architecture at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
He saw some of my photos of famed architect Morris Lapidus and asked me to exhibit
a couple of the photos in his new exhibition called "New Hotels for Global
Boulevard in Miami is lined with classic motels from the 1950s.
The architectural style is known as MiMo (Miami Modern) and this
is a prime example.
next for you?
RH: The Miami Design Preservation League presented me with
an award in April this year for my work in helping the cause of historic preservation
of MiMo buildings. This resulted in the City of Miami Beach designating a new
historic district for the MiMo buildings. The book called MiMo: Miami Modern
Revealed comes out in September this year and is published by Chronicle Books
and features many of my MiMo photos. I'm working on a book called Motel
Florida to be published by Rizzoli as well as something on Frank Lloyd Wright.
The MiMo exhibition is up at Miami International Airport and goes to the Florida
History in October 2004, along with another exhibition I'm doing in Fort
Morris Lapidus designed this hotel in 1953. This is a white building
painted magenta/pink by bizarre lighting just after a thunderstorm
Bringing the philosophy of present
moment awareness into my assignment work has transformed it. There still has
to be an overall structure (like the melody of a song), but within that structure
I leave a lot of time to play and be creative. As long as I explain to my clients
up-front that I work in this way, it all seems to pan out rather well.
To learn more about Robin Hill's
photography, visit his websites: www.robinhill.net