The last year has been a good one for Anastasia Samoylova – in April her superb book Floridas (Steidl) was published, three European galleries are showing her work, and she will begin 2023 with a solo exhibition at C/O Berlin. Floridas puts Samoylova’s work in conversation with Walker Evans’s photographs, which have long served as an inspiration to her. For both photographers, Florida is a tropical paradise and a troubled place. Poverty, and in Samoylova’s images, racism, divisive politics, and increasingly destructive hurricanes are concerns, as is rampant consumerism.
Samoylova, who grew up in Russia, has lived in Florida since 2016. Her photographs draw on her previous experience making studio photography, conceptual photographs, and architecture studies. In her travels across the state, she has captured Florida’s idiosyncrasies in a variety of modes: some of the photographs are compact and succinct, others are multi-layered and obscure. Some are vaguely romantic. The final effect is much like Florida, complicated and hard to define.
Elisabeth Biondi was the longtime director of photography at the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Stern Magazine. She now curates photography exhibitions, teaches, writes about photography, and is one of the three founders of the Photography Master Retreat in the South of France. For more information see firstname.lastname@example.org.