The Art of Andy Sweet - in the Colonial Lobby in partnership with the Andy Sweet Foundation. A young photographer living and working in Miami Beach in the late 1970s, Andy Sweet’s life and his art were cut tragically short when he was murdered on October 16, 1982. Andy left an extensive body of work that exhibits a level of creative maturity far beyond his years. His photographs are a testimony to a rich but often overlooked period of Miami Beach’s cultural heritage.
Certain artists will always be linked to a particular time and place, and such is the case with Andy Sweet and 1970’s Miami Beach. From his early years taking photos at Beach High, to his studies at the University of Colorado, it seemed clear that his trajectory would bring him back home. He was witness to a unique time in the history of Miami Beach, populated at the time by retired Jewish immigrants, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, and most just barely getting by.
Andy captured their joy, their struggles, and above all their humanity. As an early adapter of color photography, his heavily saturated prints reflected both a unique style, and the influence of his elders: Diane Arbus, Bill Owens, and William Eggleston. Andy didn’t shoot a lot of film, and once he chose his shot, a second take was rare.
As I cull through Andy Sweet’s work, I’m struck by his humor, intelligence, and razor-sharp instincts. Having created such a body of work in his all- too-short life, it’s hard not to think about where his career would have taken him, had he still walked among us.
Ed Christin, 2019
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