PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Damiani

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.75 x 12.5 in. / 290 pgs / multiple gatefolds / 21 color / 214 duotones.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2011 p. 177   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9788862081849 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $87.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

BROWSE THE 2020 SPRING CATALOG

Preview our Spring 2020 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

DAMIANI

Michael Dweck: Habana Libre

Interviews by William Westbrook.

Featured image: Javier and Januaria suffer a breakdown, both the car and the relationship. Habana, 2009.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.

Featured image: Javier and Januaria suffer a breakdown, both the car and the relationship. Habana, 2009.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

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.

Artinfo

Ann Binlot

The photographs reveal a Cuba typically seen only by insiders

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.

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.

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.

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.

Michael Dweck: Habana Libre

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
"After the Revolution, there was an enormous explosion of potential. This is the way the world works: there is always lots of potential, but you need a determined event in order for that potential to maximize and become reality. This is what happened with Cuba – Cuba created schools of dance, painting, sculpture, music, theatre – they were symbols that said the best way to be free is to be cultured.
The Cuban Revolution tried to take the culture to all the people on the island, from one end to the other. Today, on every corner of every street, you can find a person with artistic characteristics. And they’re not just artists.
The social transformation of Cuba made it possible for the poorest person to be able to graduate as a doctor or a musician. We have a large number of people who are well thought of in the world. Perhaps if we had had more resources, we would have developed more but, with what we had, much was done.
In Cuba, it is possible that sometimes you can’t find the tools to paint, for example, but the painter is there, so the painter with coffee can paint, or with dirt, or whatever, and this gives the work a new force or style."

-Photographer Camilo Guevara, excerpted from Habana Libre

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