The Carter Burden Center for the Aging, a non-profit organization in New York City, will host street photographer Flo Fox with her current solo exhibit, “Flo Fox: Photographs 1972-2011,” at its gallery and studio space, Gallery 307, located at 307 Seventh Ave., Suite 1401, in Manhattan.
Artist Flo Fox’s one person show, “Flo Fox: Photographs 1872-2011,” can be seen at Gallery 307, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Nov. 25. Over 40 years of Ms. Fox’s photography will be exhibited, including works from her collection of street images, New York City scenes and photos examining the life of the disabled though photography.
In her mid 30s, “street photographer” Flo Fox was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Now over three decades since her diagnosis, Ms. Fox, who is legally blind and confined to a wheelchair, continues her photography, despite her disabilities, with help from assistants.
“When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I had two choices on how to live my life. I could stay at home and be depressed, or get out into the world and continue my art,” said Ms. Fox.
Ms. Fox was born in Miami, Florida. At the age of two, after her father died, she and her mother moved to Woodside, Queens. Her love of art started when she was a child with inspiration from her family.
“I was always interested in art and creating, since I was a small child. My first art project was sewing clothes for my dolls. My mom taught me how to sew using the scraps of material I would pick up off the floor of my grandfather’s dress shop, Fox’s Dress Shop, in the Bronx,” said Ms. Fox.
Growing up, Ms. Fox explored several different art mediums from candle making to pottery, before pursuing sewing as a career. She began her career working to make patterns and moved into sewing for Revlon and making costumes for shows such as “A Chorus Line” on Broadway. As an adult, she took up photography as a hobby in between sewing jobs.
“I never thought I would be able to make money off of photography. But then the MS progressed and I couldn’t hold a needle anymore, so I started to take photos for a living,” said Ms. Fox.
Since 1972, she has shot over 100,000 images and worked for almost 40 years in her darkroom, covering a variety of subjects focusing on the “iconic reality.” Her work is in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian and The Brooklyn Museum, and her photos have exhibited throughout the world including London, Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Tokyo.
Her work has been published in “Asphalt Gardens, 69 Photos by Flo Fox.” In addition, her series of photographs “Up in Smoke,” chronicling the rising cost of a pack of cigarettes at a corner store near her apartment, was published in Life Magazine.
Ms. Fox, who carries two cameras on her wheelchair at every moment, continues to look for colorful, ironic or unusual things.
“To some people they see junk in the graffiti on the street, but I see a piece of art. I also like to take photos of things others would not notice, like a wheelchair ramp being blocked by a trash can. Instead of getting angry about it, I take a photo of it.”
The show at Gallery 307 is Ms. Fox’s first solo exhibit since 2004.