David Behar – Cabana Series
While Jung was writing The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious he probably didn't think about this, but one of these could have been that chiringuito beach bar, on the sun-drenched beach, which everybody sees as the quintessential place of peace, partying and relaxation. Behar is well aware of this and, in fact, all it takes is a quick look at his snaps - his landscapes with a subject - for your brain to start producing endorphins.
In actual fact, a Cabana isn't just a chiringuito beach bar. Apart from serving food and drinks, it also rents beach umbrellas, but the observer can't be expected to know that. The over-exposed sand, the bright blue sky, the sea on the horizon and a few sparse white clouds set the scene for Behar's subject; and that's all you need to evoke the icon, the image-myth.
"This series came about after getting tired of shooting the lifeguard towers of Miami. Everyone does it and everyone’s seen them, but the cabanas are often overlooked. There are dozens of them but most people have no idea unless they’re willing to walk for hours. Now that series exists you don’t have to, but you still should".
Actually, going beyond first impressions, Behar's photographic research lies in the aesthetics of an icon - how does the platonic idea of Cabanas materialise on these immaculate beaches? David Behar answered. "An intrinsic charm exists in the cabana rental structures of Miami Beach. Each is unique and often paired with the umbrellas it rents out to form a small community of matching hues. The hotel staff will even have matching uniforms to top it off".
In his photos, "(most of which are) isolated subjects in a sea of muted blues and off-whites", David Behar finds a great desire for solitude, combined with a conscious sense of belonging, in finding himself in a very popular paradise. Maybe that's why Behar's photos work so well - there's a tension that unites contrasting situations. We're used to thinking of the iconic beauty of Miami Beach as crowded, bustling, and full of life. Instead, Behar tells us the story of the beauty of these beaches through the solitude of hours spent walking along the sand, under the sun.
David Behar: http://davidsbehar.com/