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Roller Skates and Stereo Cassettes Down Ocean Drive 
Olsen Gallery 2024

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1980’s Miami. A menthol cigarette burns in your oversized amber ashtray. Salmon Coloured walls, voyeuristic portholes, glass blades and palm trees sway both inside and out. Sonny Crockett’s got an alligator and glamorous women roller skate down Ocean Drive. Cocaine is in and the lights have been dimmed.

 

On a visit to Miami last year, I found a collection of magazines entitled ‘Florida Design’, that were produced through the 1980s, which led to a fascination with this era. Miami experienced a massive economic boom during this time due to the capital generated from its “cocaine cowboys” and their need for clean investments. This attracted young architects creating a fertile ground for exquisitely flamboyant and daring architectural projects. Further popularised by the television series Miami Vice with sets saturated with bold architecture - the opening credits notably displaying Arquitectonica’s postmodern and surreal Atlantis hotel. The iconic fashion style of the show was created by Gianni Versace, credited with bringing the local colours of flamingo pink, lime green, and Caribbean blue to the mainstream, glamourizing casualwear, and the booming hedonism. 

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