Under the Cuban Sun is an exhibition of fine art photography of Cuba from the 1930s to the near present at Throckmorton Fine Art June 17 – September 17, 2016.
“What is so moving in these 42 photographic images is how the consequences of each period of political upheaval in Cuba, — from the 1930s dictatorship to the 1960s Revolution to its abandonment by the Soviet Union in the 1990s — wrought a different focus to the photographers who used their genius to capture the souls and resiliency of the Cuban people.
Too often the world has seen only Cuba’s crumbling cities and decaying automobiles, rather than the personalities and souls of the populous, not just in Havana but in its desperate rural outposts. Now we see seven decades that portray the real heart of the Cuban people.”
– Spencer Throckmorton
About Under the Cuban Sun
“Under the Cuban Sun” is an exhibition of 42 photographic images from 1933 to 2007.
An exhibition at Throckmorton Fine Art is never only about pretty pictures. The gallery puts together shows that have a social context. Americans of the United States often don’t see past the politicized stereotypes of Cuban culture, but there is a lot to see if you know where to look.
By its nature, photography often plays a documentary role. Throckmorton’s vision of contextual layers in photographer’s work as Cuba changes is brilliant. Cuba has been at the center of the struggle for freedom since 1492 – freedom from slavery, Spaniards, Americans, Soviets, and now freedom from the limitations of its own history.
The exhibition’s title “Under the Cuban Sun” is a metaphor for the continuous cycle of change through the days, seasons, and years. It may also reference the 2014 Guggenheim Museum exhibition “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today.” The premise of that exhibition was that today Latin America is all the Americas.
Cuba is experiencing yet another revolution in its opening with the United States and the process of reconciliation between Cubans in Cuba and Florida. In ten more years, this exhibition will have rich new layers and some of what is shown today will exist only in these photographs. To know your future, look at your past. It’s another reason to see this show.
Mr. Throckmorton is not Latin himself, but has a deep affinity for Latin people. They or we are the heart of this exhibition.
The article’s cover image is “Fidel Castro, La Havane, Cuba” (1959) by Jesse A. Fernandez.
Mario Algaze (Havana, 1947) is a Cuban-American photographer who has produced the largest body of photographic work about Latin America. Being a Cuban exile energizes Algaze’s work. It’s as if he searched for his Cuban identity across the Americas. Algaze’s photographs of Cuba are very personal. The exhibition contains Algaze photographs from 1999-2000.
For more information, visit www.MarioAlgaze.com
Juan Carlos Alom
Juan Carlos Alom (Havana, 1964) is a New York-based Cuban photographer and experimental filmmaker. The exhibition contains Alom photographs from 2000-2007.
The young woman resting in a bed of rice in Alom’s “Concha en arroz” (2007) succinctly expresses the current situation in Cuba. She is beautiful and alluring emerging from the fruit of the land. Her dress pulled down to reveal youthful breasts creates desire, but also the knowledge that fulfilling those desires might destroy her. This is Alom’s version of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”
For more information, visit JuanCarlosAlom.com
Raul Canibano (Havana, 1961) is a Cuban advertising photographer in Cuba who is known for the humanity in his images of common people. The exhibition contains Canibano photographs from 2001-2002
José Antonio Carrera
José Antonio Carrera (Madrid, 1957) is a Spanish photographer who connects literature and travel in his work. From his experience living with the Yanomami people of Venezuela, Carrera notes that humans of the Amazon rainforest and New York City are the same. The exhibition contains Carrera photographs from 1992.
For more information, visit JoseAntonioCarrera.com
Henri Cartier-Bresson (Chanteloup-en-Brie, 1908-2004) was a French photojournalist. He was the father of street photography. The exhibition contains Cartier-Bresson photographs from a photojournalism assignment for Life magazine in 1963.
For more information, visit www.HenriCartierBresson.org
Venancio Diaz (1916-2003) was a Cuban photographer. The exhibition contains Diaz photographs from 1959.
Walker Evans (St. Louis, Missouri 1903-1975) was an American photographer best known for his work documenting the Great Depression in the United States. Evans went on assignment to Cuba in the early 1930s during the regime of Gerardo Machado. The dictator’s fall left Cuba in a state of chaos which only ended with the Cuban Revolution in 1959. The exhibition contains Evans photographs from 1932 and 1946.
Jesse A. Fernandez
Jesse A. Fernandez (Havana, 1925-1986) was a Cuban photographer. The exhibition contains Fernandez photographs from 1956 and 1959, including a portrait of the important Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam.
Héctor García (Mexico City, 1923-2012) was a Mexican photojournalist. The exhibition contains García photographs from 1959.
Graciela Iturbide is the current master of photography of Mexico. She took this mantle from her mentor, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, the father of Latin American photography. The exhibition contains a Iturbide photograph from 1974.
For more information, visit www.GracielaIturbide.com
Alberto Korda (Havana, -2001) was Fidel Castro’s official photographer for a decade. Korda is best known for the iconic image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The exhibition contains a Korda photograph of Fidel Castro from the 1950s.
Leo Matiz (Aracataca, Colombia 1917-1998) was a Colombian photojournalist. The exhibition contains a Matiz photograph of Fidel Castro from 1965.
Rodrigo Moya (Medellín, Colombia, 1934) is a Mexican photojournalist. Moya is best known for his work covering political unrest in 1950s and 1960s Latin America. The exhibition includes two photographs of “Che” Guevara from 1964.
Moya’s “Che melancólico” (Melancholy Che) from 1964 was the image that first brought Throckmorton Fine Art to our attention some years ago. I was surprised that a New York gallery held such iconic images of Latin America.
Nancy Ney is a New York-based commercial photographer. The exhibition contains a Ney photograph from 1991.
For more information, visit www.NancyNey.com
Liborio Noval (1934-2012) was Fidel Castro’s photographer for fifty years. The exhibition contains a famous photo of Fidel making a point to Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Michael Scalisi is a New York-based writer, director and photographer who was mentored by fashion photographer Bruce Weber. The exhibition contains photographs of Cuban street life from 1993-1994.
Nancy Stout is an American author and photographer who has written about Havana and Cuban cigars. Stout is best known for her book “One Day in December: Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution” (2013). Sánchez was a revolutionary who worked with Fidel and Che to launch the revolution, document it, and set up the new state. Stout got approval for the project from Fidel himself. The exhibition includes a Stout photograph from 1994.
Transworld Feature Syndicate
The exhibition contains a Transworld Feature Syndicate photograph from 1961.
Christophe Von Hohenberg
Christophe Von Hohenberg is an American photographer who is best known for his book “Any Warhol: The Day the Factory Died” (2007). The exhibition includes Von Hohenberg photographs from 2000.
For more information, visit www.ChristopheVonHohenberg.com
If you are interested in any of these artists, please contact Throckmorton consultant Ximena Ojeda