Friday Finds: Introduction to Flo Fox Part 1

January 13, 2012


Every once in a while I meet someone who immediately leaves an indelible mark on me in one way or another and has the ability to forever change my outlook on life.  On January 5, 2012, I met an incredible woman who did just that -- the incomparable Flo Fox.  In fact, she earned a DJ name on the spot -- DJ Photo Flo -- unheard of!   

The first thing I saw when I entered her apartment (besides from the mountains of photographs) was the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Issacson in audio book format resting on her coffee table. I had JUST finished reading it myself a few days before!

Someone should do a biography on Flo.  She's a trailblazing urban photographer and a champion for the handicapped who stole the show in an unplanned cameo in the Joan Rivers documentary a couple of years ago, which has since led to a whole new generation recognizing and appreciating anew  Flo's work.  The woman has led an incredible life, so I decided to dedicate two blog posts to her. Volume One starts today.  


The best way to describe Flo's apartment is like Bill Cunningham's apartment on acid).  Her archives are massive and every inch of every wall is covered with her work, her friend's work, and interesting knick-knacks she's picked up during the course of a life very-well lived despite suffering from MS.





Flo Fox has been many things in her life. When I asked her what has been her most memorable career experience she replied, "Which career?” She then proceeded to direct me through an undulating sea of portfolios to some of her original clothing designs and wardrobe stylist clippings.  Oh, and she wanted me to tell you all that she's also been a seamstress, candle maker, talk show host and a tailor.  She may have mentioned another job or two but I have to keep this blog to a PG-13 rating...

The facts about Flo:
1. Born legally blind in one eye in 1945, she lost sight in her other eye by the time she was 30 years old in 1975. “Fenciful”- 1973  
c/o http://www.gis.net/~fotoflo/


2. Diagnosed with  multiple sclerosis in 1976 - “Networking”- 1982
c/o http://www.gis.net/~fotoflo/



3. Confined to a wheelchair since the early 80s.- “Trying Their Wings”- 1986
c/o http://www.gis.net/~fotoflo/
4. Continued taking amazing photographs despite her limitations for three decades, becoming a champion for the rights of handicapped persons.  “Personal Earthquake”- 1989


c/o http://www.gis.net/~fotoflo/

5. Only recently has Flo developed the need for assistance to physically take photos, but this has not inhibited her work as you can see from below. “Flatiron from a Helicopter”- 1997
c/o http://www.gis.net/~fotoflo/

Flo is one of the most POSITIVE woman I have ever met.  MS be damned... More from our time with Flo in the next blog installment (including Flo’s favorite places to shoot, more photos, a bedroom tour, etc), but I'll leave you with some words of advice from Flo that hit home for me: 
“Take RISKS. Don’t follow RULES. Make your MARK.”
Flo Fox is a visionary artist and an even better human being.

Xo,
Stacy




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