Monday, February 1, 2016 Filed in: Photography
Color, Grace and Style in Cuba
For 10 years, I’ve done the photography for the marcytilton.com website, gradually moving into better equipment and integrating a slow, steep learning curve. I wince when I look at those early fabric shots! 2015 was my year to become a better photographer. While shopping for a camera in LA, I came upon an exhibition of Peter Turnley’s photographs, titled French Kiss, A Love Letter to Paris and it was a turning point. Bought the camera and the book, and on an intuitive whim, enrolled in Peter’s Spring 2015 Paris workshop, which started me down a path I am heading along at warp speed.
A rank beginner, I showed up nervous and excited in the Paris workshop last May. It was a fork in the road experience and I loved it, learning from Peter and the workshop participants and gaining confidence in my own eye. See my work along with other participants in the student galleries.
Initially, Cuba was not on my short list of places to visit, but during the Paris workshop, Peter previewed his new book, Cuba, a Grace of Spirit , and announced that he was having an exhibition of his work, Moments of the Human Condition, at the Cuban National Fine Arts Museum in Havana. This beautifully curated retrospective show continues through February 15, don’t miss it if you are going to be in Havana. (Museum curators and gallerists take note....this powerful show should travel to the US and Europe.) I had a moment, knew I had to go and signed up for the workshop only to find it was full. Luckily there was a cancellation and I was able to have this rich experience. My fellow participants were a marvelous group, and along with our Cuban guides we soon became friends.
Back home, when I sorted out the photos, a colorful sartorial theme emerged. Cubans have style and panache in spite of the fact that there very few available things to buy. Juxtapositions of color are everywhere, in the buildings, the clothes, the cars. Here, in no particular order, are shots of men, women and children. The Cuban people are good humored and patient and willing to go from hamming or posing for the camera to relaxing into themselves. See the work from our group in the student galleries from the Cuba January 16 workshop.
Read my friend Julie Callahan's eloquent blog posts about our week in Cuba which captures the mix of feelings I share too:
A Week In Havana
The Boxing School: Havana
If you are going to Cuba, I highly recommend: