Blaise Tobia: Plain + Fancy

Terminal F, Concourse 1

Philadelphia photographer Blaise Tobia has created a series of photographs based on the interiors and exteriors of Amish horse-drawn buggies. The Amish, many of whom live in nearby Lancaster County, are known for their simple living, plain dress, private lifestyle, and resistance to modern technology. These characteristics are represented in their use of the horse and buggy—a basic mode of transportation that is austere, sheltered, and centuries old. The horse-drawn buggy is likely the most public symbol of the reclusive Amish lifestyle. Blaise Tobia has said about this particular series of photographs, “The depicted Amish horse-drawn carriages are boxes with a public face and a private interior that represent their public/private duality.” Tobia has captured this duality by presenting his photographs in pairs. Typically, one image features an extreme close-up of the buggy’s grey exterior with its minimal detailing while the other is a close-up of the interior with its unexpectedly colorful, often lush upholstery. The tightly cropped images placed side-by-side heighten the contrasting nature of the pairings. Although none of the photographs features the Amish themselves, their culture, lifestyle, and presence are implied.

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