Much like many Cubans in South Florida who longed for and spoke often of the pre-Castro Cuba of their memories, Miami-bred, Los Angeles based artist Stephanie Hutin is fixated on the pubescent period in her youth. It's a place in time that is so unique, she says, "You cannot understand it unless you were there."
Picture this -- as fellow Floridian, Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo might say -- Miami, the late '80s, early '90s. A young girl, coming of age, is listening to freestyle on the car radio, strapped in the backseat, watching cruise ships sailing out of Port of Miami.
Twenty years later, living on the other side of the country, she's using art to recapture that time and place. Hutin is well aware that the city of her youth during that sort of lonely era in its history no longer exists. Of that Miami, she remembers car clubs at her high school and eternal suburbs, and says, "I think about flip-flops. It was acceptable to wear flip-flops all the time."
Hutin's recent work, Kathleen, a short film screening at Miami short Film Festival this Saturday on Miami Beach, illustrates the time in young girls' lives when you meet your best friend and feel only "pure adoration" for her. It's part of a much larger script that showcases, what she describes as, "this gray area in girlhood when friendship and romantic love are the same thing," and a Miami of yesteryear.
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