Gold Coast by Harry Griffin
- Hannah Edwards
Harry Griffin’s ongoing project ‘Gold Coast’ is a piece of work that focuses on his two grandfathers in their ‘golden years’. As Harry Griffin tells us both of these men have lived extraordinary lives; cowboys in a swamp. One, Bill, lived a proto-punk life of Grindhouse filmmaking and distanced himself from Hollywood. The other one, Howard, grew up on a landlocked houseboat and made his living through bootlegging and sod farming.
‘Gold Coast’ is a remixing of their histories and personalities through his own interpretation. The project extends beyond Bill and Howard, looking at the landscape around them and a handful of other characters. South Florida is nicknamed ‘Gold Coast’ for its luxury and glamour, but drive a few miles out of civilization and you’re in oblivion.
The photographer is interested in the pastel colors of Art Deco architecture in Miami and the rich blues, greens and pinks of the South Florida landscape. Simultaneously, he is also drawn to dissimulation, either through camouflage or performance. The characters in this body of work are all flirting with rapture and, like the tension that exists between the glitz of South Beach and the disregarded swamp, Bill and Howard are stuck in their bodies, aging in an age when the world is moving exceptionally fast. They’re trapped in paradise.