Portfolio Naples April 2017 - Page 21

inside + outside PHOTOGRAPHY / EDITORIAL / ART / DESIGN MATTHEW STOCK ABANDONED VEHICLES OF THE EVERGLADES By: Charles J. Kropke When deep nightfall descends upon the vast, star-splattered firmament of the Florida Everglades, my partner in vehicular adventure, Matt Stock, and I swing into action. is may be one of the most bizarre high-art projects you’ve ever heard of, but it’s catching the attention of everyone who encounters it. We call the project “Abandoned Vehicles of the Everglades” and this is our story: Ten years ago, an idea germinated in my head. I think the elements of the idea came from several different directions. One was my lifelong in- terest in old cars and vehicles. Two, was my love of an oft-reprinted, sem- inally popular photography book entitled “Ghosts Along the Mississippi” by Clarence John Laughlin (1948). e book chronicles antebellum man- sion ruins along the Mississippi River as it passes through Louisiana. e third element was a combination of my personal encounters and the stories of friends (Gladesmen, Miccosukee Indians, wilderness adventurers, park rangers and naturalists) as we traversed the vast Everglades and discovered a large, eclectic variety of intriguing abandoned vehicles spanning the 20th century. I vowed, this must be a book! PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 19