Michael Dweck: Habana Libre

Michael Dweck: Habana Libre

by Michael Dweck
     
 
Habana Libre is a stunning contemporary exploration of the privileged class in a classless society: a secret life within Cuba. Michael Dweck's photographs are exhilarating, sensual and provocative, with a sexy and hypnotic visual rhythm. This is a face of Cuba never before photographed, never reported in Western media and never acknowledged openly within

Overview

Habana Libre is a stunning contemporary exploration of the privileged class in a classless society: a secret life within Cuba. Michael Dweck's photographs are exhilarating, sensual and provocative, with a sexy and hypnotic visual rhythm. This is a face of Cuba never before photographed, never reported in Western media and never acknowledged openly within Cuba itself. It is a socially connected world of glamorous models and keenly observant artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers captured in an elaborate dance of survival and success. Here too are surprising interviews with sons of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as well as many others who define the creative culture of Cuba and give it texture and substance. Habana Libre is not a media-fabricated Cuban postcard of crumbling mansions or old American cars, but a revealing and contemporary work by a visual artist adept at capturing the quiet gesture, the sensuous eye and the proud and provocative pose of that most romantic of contradictions: Cuba.
The photographs of Michael Dweck (born 1957) were first exhibited at Sotheby's, New York, in 2003, in the auction house's first solo exhibition for a living photographer. Dweck's first major photographic work, The End: Montauk, N.Y., published in 2004, blended documentary and staged photography to produce a compelling portrait of a beach community that exists as much in the realm of memory and desire as in the real world. His acclaimed 2008 volume Mermaids explored the female nude refracted in water. Dweck's work has become part of important international art collections and has been shown in major solo gallery exhibitions around the world.

Editorial Reviews

Vanity Fair
Cuba--once referred to as "that unhappy island" by President John F. Kennedy--is often portrayed in a negative, faded frame, with destitute streets and abandoned American automobiles. From March 2009 to July 2010, photographer Michael Dweck aimed to capture the secret side of Castro's Communist capital, with all of its combustible energy, from the often overlooked yet alluring perspective of its artistic elite Despite the nation's political strife and poor economic standing, Dweck's contemporary collection-made possible by his inside access to the country's ascending generation is surprisingly rich.
— Lenora Jane Estes
T- The New York Times Magazine
Michael Dweck's "Habana Libre" is a sun-baked "Who's Who" of Cuba's cultural elite.
— Stephen Heyman
Nowness
Dweck's new book, Habana Libre, reveals a secretive collective of friends based in the country's capital, making work that treads a fine line between conceptual and subversive.
— Editorial Staff
Artinfo
The photographs reveal a Cuba typically seen only by insiders
— Ann Binlot
The New York Times
While the more intriguing pictures in a book shot in Mr. Dweck's unchallenging soft-focus black-and-white style ("I didn't want to do documentary," he said. "National Geographic can do that") are those depicting the sons of revolutionaries disporting themselves with models and smoking fat cigars, gotcha shots are not the sole surprise.

"Ultimately, the book is a narrative of this privileged class," Mr. Dweck said. In its pretty, almost hapless way, the book depicts a curious warp in a great historical arc. Can it be that the end point of a violent revolution fomented to create a classless society is a crop of tropical Zoolanders and privileged "It" girls? The question, though not on the agenda of "Habana Libre," threads through it all the same.
— Guy Trebay

American Photo - Jack Crager
Dweck focuses on Havana's clandestine and seemingly carefree creative class of artists, writers and models. "Suprising to many," Westbrook asserts, "there is happiness in Cuba." Dweck shows us that the sensuous, slinky side of pre-Castro Cuba never really dissapeared; it just went underground.
Vanity Fair - Lenora Jane Estes
Cuba--once referred to as "that unhappy island" by President John F. Kennedy--is often portrayed in a negative, faded frame, with destitute streets and abandoned American automobiles. From March 2009 to July 2010, photographer Michael Dweck aimed to capture the secret side of Castro's Communist capital, with all of its combustible energy, from the often overlooked yet alluring perspective of its artistic elite… Despite the nation's political strife and poor economic standing, Dweck's contemporary collection-made possible by his inside access to the country's ascending generation… is surprisingly rich.
T: The New York Times Style Magazine - Stephen Heyman
Michael Dweck’s “Habana Libre” is a sun-baked “Who’s Who” of Cuba’s cultural elite.
Nowness - Editor
Dweck's new book, Habana Libre, reveals a secretive collective of friends based in the country's capital, making work that treads a fine line between conceptual and subversive.
Artinfo - Ann Binlot
The photographs reveal a Cuba typically seen only by insiders
The New York Times - Guy Trebay
While the more intriguing pictures in a book shot in Mr. Dweck's unchallenging soft-focus black-and-white style ("I didn't want to do documentary," he said. "National Geographic can do that") are those depicting the sons of revolutionaries disporting themselves with models and smoking fat cigars, gotcha shots are not the sole surprise.
"Ultimately, the book is a narrative of this privileged class," Mr. Dweck said. In its pretty, almost hapless way, the book depicts a curious warp in a great historical arc. Can it be that the end point of a violent revolution fomented to create a classless society is a crop of tropical Zoolanders and privileged "It" girls? The question, though not on the agenda of "Habana Libre," threads through it all the same.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788862081849
Publisher:
Damiani
Publication date:
09/30/2011
Pages:
290
Product dimensions:
10.06(w) x 12.80(h) x 1.50(d)

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