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Review of Andrew Moore’s Cuba
…a photographic portrait of a city swept up in the flow of time. In the wake of a turbulent five-hundred-year history, Havana today is a shipwreck of splendor and decay; a place where the passing decades have created a haunting landscape, both beautiful and serene.
An elegant hotel now serving as an elementary school…the parlor of a grand mansion transformed into a barbershop…these are Havana’s most intimate spaces…Andrew Moore has created an unrivaled portrait of both its legendary historic architecture and the city’s inner life. These rich and elegiac images capture intimate details and sensuous moods, creating an open-ended drama that unfolds with each viewing. Painterly light lends grandeur to Havana’s most unlikely landmarks. Andrew Moore’s work is distinguished by its singular perspective, one that combines a documentarians love of subject and story with an unexpected poetry. Each photograph is an open-ended drama, filled with extraordinary artifacts from both the past and the present. As the images are viewed over time, intimate and sensuous details unfold. Single images contain multiple layers of meaning. When taken as a whole, they weave a dense web of associations and contrasts that is, in essence, Cuba today.
‘Andrew Moore’s large-format color photographs offer breathtaking views of the Cuban capital’s crumbling baroque splendor…The photographs, a mix of street scenes and interiors, show color-saturated stucco storefronts and dilapidated courtyards. Residents seem dwarfed by their improbably high-ceilinged apartments, with huge transformed windows and faded, chipping walls. Russophilic communist kitsch mingles with antique furniture and modern electronics. The book shows off a range of Cuban architecture from colonial-era neoclassical to art nouveau to the “revolutionary” architecture of the 1960s..’
Extract from publisher’s Weekly review of Inside Havana
Details about Andrew Moore?s Cuba Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Damiani; Trade ed edition (September 30, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 0.8 x 11.8 inches
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American photographer Andrew Moore began photographing in Cuba in 1998, and over the next fourteen years he made ten further visits, working to reveal the many facets of the island’s unique character and life. In 2002, he published some of this work in Inside Havana, which is now out of print. This new edition includes many of Moore’s older classic images but re-conceives its predecessor with a new layout and finer, larger reproductions. Cuba also features many older photographs never previously published, as well as new photographs made specifically for this edition. The afterword was especially commissioned for this edition from Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, one of Cuba’s leading independent bloggers.
Working with a large format camera, Moore insightfully records the shifting fortunes of Cuba, in superb photographs full of painterly light and dynamic color. His images span a tremendous variety of subjects, ranging from humble interiors to magnificent modernism, as well as portraits and landscapes. One theme introduced in this revised version is the contrast between the frayed patinas of Cuban homes and the great, unspoiled beauty of the island’s nature. Cuba is a stirring portrait of a country isolated from the globalized world, overflowing with its own remarkable riches. About Andrew Moore Andrew Moore is known for his large-format color photographs of architectural subjects. His prints are represented in museum collections internationally. He is a professor of photography at Princeton University and lives in New York.
The photographs of Andrew Moore (born 1957) are represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Library of Congress, the Israel Museum, the George Eastman House and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Introduction and texts in Andrew Moore’s Cuba written by:
Andy Grundberg is a critic and independent curator who lives in Washington, D.C.
Eduardo Rodriguez is a Cuban architect, historian, and editor of the journal Arquitectura Cuba. He lives in Havana. February 2013