About the "Compadres de Cuba" Portfolio
In 2013 I was privileged to spend a week photographing in Havana, Cuba. I went there expecting to find decaying buildings, dilapidated cars, and other things to photograph for a long term project I call “Entropy;” a study of what happens when man stops maintaining his creations and they begin to be reclaimed by nature.
Because of the sixty-year-old economic embargo imposed by the United States, and the deprivations caused by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990's, Havana is a laboratory for entropy and gave me many subjects. But I was surprised to also find many buildings and cars that have been beautifully restored and lovingly maintained, and I felt compelled to photograph some of these things as well, in order to tell a more complete story.
When I returned home, and developed and proofed my film, I began to notice connections between some of the photographs. Each pair exhibited a contrast in the conditions of the subjects, but also shared similarities, whether they were the subjects themselves, or more subtly, the lines, shapes, and forms of the subjects. This connection is illustrated by the two photographs below, Ventana en Habana and Adriana y Nivaldo. The two photographs were made several blocks apart on the same street and within an hour of one another, yet they could not be more different in the emotions that they convey.
These partnerships illustrate two sides of Cuba, and interested me to the point that they became the theme of this portfolio, and will no doubt influence the photographs that I make on future trips to the island.