Tyler Haughey is an American photographer, continuously exploring the medium, discovering different approaches. He has his bachelor’s degree in Science, Photography & Art History, which he acquired at Drexel University, Philadelphia.
In the presented project titled Ebb Tide, he photographed the largest concentration of postwar resort architecture in the United States, located in New Jersey, or in other name, the Jersey Shore. The center of the project, The Wildwoods, has small year-round populations, but are flooded with tourists and vacationers during the summer time.
Yet, despite this phenomenon, Tyler Haughey turned his camera towards the other way around, and documented the important architectural collections of the 20th century during the winter time. Throughout the whole series, the viewer is confronted by the emptiness of the hollow walls, yet one feels a calming sensation looking at the multicolored photographs.
“Adopting a spare aesthetic and using contemporary materials such as poured concrete and glass, the motels brought European high modernism to America’s middle class. Applying the idea of the ’decorated shed’, a term coined by renowned postmodern architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steve Izenour in their seminal 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas, each motel relies on unique architectural features and symbolic ornament to form its own identity and set itself apart from the others nearby. Infused with space-age optimism and experimentation, and utilizing the iconography of faraway, exotic destinations, these structures represent the way American families vacationed during the postwar era,” Tyler added. The motels, with their striking bold colors and neon signs stay closed for whole nine months of the off-season. They lay silently, creating a sense of “unoccupied time capsules of summers past”.
The whole body of work was taken during the winter months, which strengthens the often present appearance of void contrast even more. The artist explores the opportunities given by the uncanny time of winter, and documents the allure of the colorful buildings, creating a beautiful contrast between the bold presence and the emptiness of the coastal architecture.