Cowboys & Oranges
These images were made in Florida's Heartland and are part of a larger work I call The Florida Project. They focus on the relationship of people to land, to place and vice-versa. In this study I explore 2 parallel universes existing in Florida's Heartland – their similarities and differences – and both ultimately for the same outcome: To Feed the Masses. A cattle ranch and an orange grove existing very close to one another and both Icons in their own way. The American Cowboy – born to this land, attached to and loving it – every blade of grass, every rolling sagebrush, the magnificent sunrise, the cattle and wild animals and exotic birds. He loves his work, the camaraderie of his companions, the acceptance of his community. He belongs. He owns his freedom, liberty, his space. The storied Migrant Worker – displaced, lonely, alienated and detached from this vast land of orange groves where, every year from November until May, he chooses, he plants, he picks, he delivers and does the hard work for the wealthy owners who can’t or won’t do it. Albeit, through their own choosing, it is a kind of bondage and, when the work is finished, they are eager to return home to their country and families.