Being legally blind, wheelchair bound, afflicted with MS and lung cancer doesn’t stop the enigmatic and inspirational Flo Fox from taking photos, so what’s stopping you? The infamous New York photgrapher, who picked up her first camera at 26 and hasn’t stopped taking photos ever since, is revealed intimately in this fantastic short documentary, Flo, by Riley Hooper. With a camera mounted on the front of her wheelchair pointing back to our female protagonist, Hooper provides a portrait of the sprightly Flo Fox, complete with her crude humour, playfulness and humble spirit, which abounded in the Joan Rivers documentary A Piece of Work, in which she briefly appeared.
Fox’s 35mm photos—usually in black and white—could easily (but undeservedly) be bundled up in to that black and white grungy New York street style of photography that we have seen so many times before, but what sets Flo’s apart is her humor (check out her Dickthology series), her ability to find the most peculiar and poignant vignettes and snapshots in the most peculiar city in the world; it’s her clever captions underneath her photos that make them soar; it’s her no fuss photography policy that makes them so clean, so very unpretentious (something difficult to sift through and find in photography) and so very Flo Fox.
Now restricted to a wheelchair and with the inability to hold a camera, Hooper shows how Fox’s photography has evolved in to a process by which her carers take photos she wants for her—the kind of excruciating task that she says produces 1 out of 10 photos she actually wanted. The exhausting and unrelenting effort Fox puts in to her art is inspiring to say the least, and makes an able bodied, fully capable person feel a twinge of guilt for their excuses to explore their creativity.