“Tropicana” by Photographer Josh Aronson

A vibrant new photo book by photographer Josh Aronson. The aim of “Tropicana” is to challenge sensationalized narratives about youth in Florida, while offering a hopeful and gentle counter narrative. See more images along with some notable quotes about Florida below!

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“Florida, like a piece of embroidery, has two sides to it—one side all tag-rag and thrums, without order or position; and the other side showing flowers and arabesques and brilliant coloring.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abolitionist, Author, 1896
“The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently never ending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps…Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I.” - John James Audubon, Ornithologist, 1831
“I just love it. I just love the way it looks. The way it feels. It’s such a strange place that seems to exist completely on its own. I just kind of, I can’t put my finger on it. It’s the characters and how it’s just such an extreme place.” - Harmony Korine, Artist, Film Director, 2019
“Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated.” - Joan Didion, Author, 1987
“The Everglades were like a set of scales on which the forces of the seasons, of the sun and the rains, the winds, the hurricanes, and the dewfall, were balanced so that the life of the vast grass and all its encompassed and neighbor forms were kept secure.” - Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Environmentalist, 1947
“I’ve found peace in Florida.” - Jack Keroauc, Poet, 1957
“I am happy here, happier than I have been for years. The air is sweet, yes, literally sweet. I am renewed like the eagle. The clang and clamor of New York drops away like a last year's dream.” - Zora Neale Hurston, Author, 1932
“In the southeast, in our youth I saw streetlights and taillights and lighters light spoons and guns alight but there was no moonlight. When my mother lit the stove pilot with a match, when we let Mr. Joseph The Wino live in our back shed I sat on the stairs and spoke to him. That little light that made it through the doorway from the kitchen lit his face as he told me stories about when he used to sleep with no cover from the moon. Talking to him I learned that the moon had no light of its own, that all its light came from the sun. Before I left the house to walk to the gas station I wrapped my head with a silky rag to set my waves. On the walk I imagined one day they would shine like the sea under moonlight. I knocked on your door on the way back and you answered it without a shirt, and turned your back on me and I shoved you for leaving me hanging but we were too familiar for greetings, we were too familiar for so many words and I slept over. On a late Saturday morning when the languor fell away we ran out into sunlight, it beamed on the targets on our brown backs. Midway through a game I wanted to see you from the sideline so I took a seat and followed the lines your body made under flood lights. In my car, the gauges and incandescent bulbs turned us different shades of blue. When we arrived we paid to stare off into silver screens and they wouldn’t shine any light on our situation. And for so long it was like we didn’t exist.” - Frank Ocean, Musician, 2019
"For a photographer, being in Florida was like being sent to heaven before you die." - Arnold Newman, Photographer, 1987

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