From The Pegasus News | Dallas Texas | Exhibit Review: J. Bennett Fitts: No Lifeguard on Duty | BY Laura Seewoester
There is a fun little photo exhibit at Holly Johnson Gallery by J. Bennett Fitts called No Lifeguard on Duty. The subject: motel pools. It seems fitting for a summer exhibit, although in all but one of the photos, the pools are completely drained, dilapidated and unusable. Fitts traveled cross country visiting old 1960's motels and photographed their pool areas. Yes, it can seem a little depressing when you think of the 1960's motel at it's peak, with middle class families breezing through on Route 66 and bringing life to those pools that have now been neglected and forgotten. Especially if you compare it to the so-called decay of the American family since those wonder years. I, however, rather enjoyed the exhibit as more of a cynical commentary on change and the passing of time.
The prints are all large C-prints with impeccable color and detail. The first image is that of a motel pool that has been filled in and currently has grass growing in it. Yep, a little lawn surrounded by concrete and a sign reminding you that there is no lifeguard on duty. They left the sign up, but did manage to remember to take down the diving board. One algae-infested pool opens right up to a pristine beach, which sort of makes the damn thing useless in the first place. Another of the pools has been tagged with graffiti that the motel never bothered to clean up. Each photograph possesses an element of cheesy wit, like the empty pool amidst the desert - now that's what I call a dust bowl! (yes, we are allowed to be dorks here at Pegasus) Whether you find the images slightly humorous or slightly dismal, they all drum up a bit of nostalgia around the idea of the good old family vacation.