M+B is pleased to announce the Los Angeles debut of thirty-five year old artist NAOMI HARRIS in AMERICA SWINGS, an exhibition of color photographs that documents an aspect of America that remains little-known despite the over three million swingers that are active in the lifestyle, according to the North American Swing Association. These are the everyday folks one sees at the supermarket, in line at the bank and post office, people from all walks of life who come together to swap partners, perform for others or just camp nude and fellowship in the great outdoors. They are not all young, toned and based in cosmopolitan centers like Manhattan or Hollywood, and yet they appear to be having the time of their lives.
Naomi Harris was there to document it all. What began as a side project while documenting retirees in Florida’s South Beach community took on a life of its own after Harris found herself intrigued by the everyday attitudes of people on a clothing-optional Miami Beach. In her five-year exploration she has produced this wide-ranging body of work, which will be released as a limited edition book by TASCHEN in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition. America Swings opens with an interview by Richard Prince, who sought out Harris after seeing her work in TASCHEN’s The New Erotic Photography.
Crisscrossing the country from Mahwah, New Jersey, to Pleasanton, California; from Big Lake, Minnesota, to Washington, Texas, Harris attended over 38 conventions, parties, camp outs and holiday dinners of the swinging variety, ready to work with a tool belt, her medium format camera and not much else. She describes her appearance during these shoots as resembling “Weegee in the nude”. All participants signed a model release form, based on the porn industry standard contract, and were tagged with a wristband, in order to distinguish who’s who in the middle of the action.
Naomi Harris is a New York based photographer whose work has appeared in the London Sunday Times Magazine, the Telegraph Magazine, Marie Claire UK, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine. In 1997, as a graduate of Fine Art and Psychology from Toronto’s York University, she moved to New York to enroll in the distinguished International Center of Photography’s Photojournalism and Documentary Photography program. In 2005, she was shown in the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2004, she became the first Canadian to be invited to participate in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. Harris received the Gold Award in Photojournalism from the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 2003 and was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2002. In 2001, she won The International Prize for Young Photojournalism presented by Agfa and Das Bildforum in Germany. This is her first exhibition at M+B.