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Michael Eastman: Havana (2011)

Michael Eastman: Havana (2011)

In the words of the Publisher:
Renowned photographer Michael Eastman pays haunting tribute to Havana’s faded glory. In his numerous works, internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Eastman often focuses on the facades and interiors of the world’s cities, such as Paris, Rome, and New Orleans. In this book he explores the houses and streets of Havana. Nearly one hundred photographs from the past two decades reveal a world where triumphant past and vanquished present collide. Painterly in quality, these richly colored photographs are dramatically lit and exquisitely detailed. Though mostly devoid of people, they manage to capture contemporary Cuban life through suggestion: an empty chair, an ancient car, a decrepit hallway, a forgotten chandelier. The result is as eloquent as a love poem written to a city rich in history, culture, and feeling.

Critics say:
Ivy Cooper writes, ?Eastman?s interiors whether shot in New Orleans, Italy, Memphis, or Cuba, combine a strong formal composition with a distinctly poetic sensibility and carry the echoes of human present.? [Eastman explains] ?Someone once said to me, ?I like your interiors because they feel like someone just entered, or just left,? ? I look for that, that trace of humanity.?

Los Angeles Times Art Critic, Leah Ollman, writes, ?Walker Evans’ legacy is evident throughout Eastman’s work: a love of the vernacular, a consistent, frontal approach, and a fondness for?time and neglect. Photographs keep a subject alive and at the same time mark its passing. The friction between a photograph’s perpetual now and its memorial then can saturate an image with poignancy?This dynamic plays out powerfully in Michael Eastman’s photographs.?

La Lettre de la Photograhie writes: ?A purist to his 4×5 camera, negative film, and natural light, Eastman does not believe in digitally altering his photographs?Vivid and jewel-like tones come from long exposure and natural light, not RGB or CMYK, and far reaching visual clarity comes from a wide-angle lens and depth of field, not digital manipulation.?

About the photographer:
Michael Eastman has established himself as one of the world’s leading contemporary photographic artists. The self-taught photographer has spent four decades documenting interiors and facades in cities as diverse as Havana, Paris, Rome, and New Orleans, producing large-scale photographs unified by their visual precision, monumentality, and painterly use of color. Eastman is most recognized for his explorations of architectural form and the textures of decay, which create mysterious narratives about time and place. He still relies on capturing the image on film and continues to print the images himself.

Eastman’s photographs have appeared in Time, Life, and American Photographer, and they reside in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and other prestigious institutions. His books include Vanishing America (2008, Rizzoli) and Horses (2003, Knopf), which is now in its fifth edition. Eastman lives in St. Louis.?
September 2011

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