Photographs by Betsy Karel.
120 pp., 66 color illustrations, 11x12".
American photographer Betsy Karel first visited Waikiki in 2009 with her husband, who was then in the final stages of terminal cancer. While there, the symptoms of his disease seemed to temporarily recede amid his joy in Waikiki’s beauty and resources, and Karel promised to capture his happiness in a new series of photographs. This highly personal book, which continued over the next four years, is dedicated to his memory. Karel’s vision of “paradise” is kaleidoscopic and vivid, and her rendering of Waikiki is ambiguous, often complex and critical. The people she pictures are relaxed, reveling in the sensuous pleasures of a sun-drenched destination. Yet while depicting a manufactured dreamscape that oscillates between real and imaginary worlds, these photographs testify to the intensity of our desire to experience our dreams-and equally to escape unpleasant realities. The book features a fold out map that underscores its keen sense of place.