Imagining Mermaids

By Lenora Jane Estes

For years, Montauk-raised photographer Michael Dweck would go night fishing along Long Island’s southern coast. Captivated by the moonlit fish under the water’s surface, he often envisioned their fleeting forms as beautiful mermaids. After completing his 2004 book, The End: Montauk (Harry N. Abrams), an exploration of the East End’s surfing subculture, Dweck decided to dive in himself to capture fluid, female figures—local friends, Floridian “island girls” from Weeki Wachee Springs (famous for its mermaid shows), and others—for a project that became Mermaids (Ditch Plains Press). With the recent release of his book and traveling exhibition Habana Libre, revisits Dweck’s dynamic underwater world—from Montauk to Miami. Related slide shows: “Havana Unbound” and “Montauk’s New Wave.”

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