Inez Hollander (self portrait above on the left), a lifetime Miami resident, created a series that obeys recognition. Her subjects include a lawyer, a real estate agent, a construction worker, a hairdresser, a mother of three trying to become a singer, a dance teacher working with blind students and a retired civil service worker known as the “King of the Nude Beach.” Hollander realized that this distinctive group represented a cross-section of Miami. And thus began the inspiration for Miami Mosaic, a portrait series.
With vibrant, primary colors and bold, unrelenting brushstrokes, Hollander’s portraits in her Miami Mosaic series (of which more than 200 portraits have been created to date) capture the emotions of her subjects in almost a Bacon-ess psychological portrayal kind of way with Fauve-esque flare. The viewer sees individual faces but together these individuals make up Miami as a whole. In creating the series and documenting the various people around her, Ms. Hollander has assumed a role that Jewish people have historically occupied: that of chronicler and storyteller in the Diaspora – in the multicultural melting pot land known as Miami. Hollander felt that many of the city’s best qualities were ignored by the media, which grossly misrepresented her hometown as a city of gangsters and drug lords, a portrayal made popular by such television shows as Miami Vice and The Real Housewives of Miami. Hollander’s response to this unfair portrayal was to capture a snapshot of Miami from her perspective, that of an artist, a mother, a wife, and a Jew, living in one of the world’s most multi-cultural environments.
You can check out her exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Florida from 12 February – 05 May 2013.