Jewish artist: Andy Sweet photographer of the Jewish community of Miami

Andy Sweet Miami Jewish Community Photographer

Andy Sweet, “Shtetl in the Sun”, Florida Jewish Museum, March 16 – June 30, 2019.

The exhibition presents the work of photographer Andy Sweet (1953 – 1982) in the late 1970s, portraying the elderly Jewish community of South Beach (Miamli Beach).

The museum is also located in the heart of the historic Art Deco district where he lived. His work almost fell into oblivion but was partially saved by his sister Ellen Sweet Moss and her husband.

The exhibition features photographs, some of which have never been shown before, as well as various archival documents, Sweet’s Hasselblad cameras and contact sheets.

Above all, it shows how much originality the artist showed in bringing life to a neighborhood that was at the time a Jewish enclave. Many of its inhabitants were originally from New York and Holocaust survivors.

Andy Sweet proves that he was one of those young artists who opened up art photography – until then monopolized by black and white – to color. This allows the creator to show a living culture beyond all banality.

The spontaneous photos, to be in concert with their characters, reject the notion of conscious artistic fabrication. They are always invigorating, intuitive and exceptional. All the more so since they were the fruit of a creator who died at the age of 28, leaving a work whose character is not only documentary. That’s far from it.

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