INSIDE THE BARREL

Key West photographer Tom Filipkowski launches first book featuring Key West women and scenes at The Rum Barrel

Key West photographer Tom Filipkowski releases his first book, Flip, featuring Key West women shot at inherently Key West locations, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at The Rum Barrel Quarterdeck.

“It’s all local to Key West,” said Filipkowski, 32. “The background scenery is all native to Key West; the women in the book are all local to Key West.”

View an 11-page preview of Flip

Filipkowski has been a photographer for 17 years and has worked at FHM magazine and with Mark Selinger, head photographer at Rolling Stone. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Filipkowski’s work has been shown at Gallery Duggal in New York and at Stone Soup Gallery in Key West. His work has also appeared in Time Out New York and Tattoo Arte magazine. He moved to Key West in 2004.

Flip was inspired by interest shown in his work in his early 20s by Goliath Books, a New York-based art and photography book publisher. Although Filipkowski was told he did not have a large enough body of work at the time to be published, he pressed on. Flip is the result.

“Somebody put the idea in my head that I was able to do this and I kind of ran with it,” Filipkowski said.

Five years in the making, Flip is a full-color 80-page coffee table gem of an art book with tasteful nudity. It is a self-published work via Blurb.com and is available online. Look out for it in select Key West stores in the future.

According to Filipkowski’s biography, his work is “a carefully constructed and compelling conversation on working-class underground culture, with its temporary state of subjective beauty, and often depicts young women as icons at the peak of their unflinching, hard-edged sensuality. His subjects give off a raw power and reflect an identity intimate with the harsh realities of a debased culture.”

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