The following photographs are a selection of portraits made within the United States and the Caribbean.
Having grown up in Miami and currently residing in New York City, I am inspired to visually explore familiar elements from tropical as well as urban environments. The resulting images are playfully juxtaposed alongside one another, creating new landscapes that reflect both the disparities and similarities between the two cultures.
Ever since I can remember, I dreamed of an island the way one does of a parent never met or a sibling long lost. I thank my grandparents every day for their insight, as well as all of the Cuban poets and musicians. All of the artists who have bestowed upon me their memories so vivid of a time and place unparalleled, passed down story after story, directly into my heart. Cuba, this motherland of unknown dreams and broken promises, called to me - yet I hesitated to respond as I could not forget all the pain-filled years endured by my family and by all Cuban-Americans; the exiles who courageously sacrificed their homes for freedom and for that of their children. Until one day when the call became a cry, developing an internal yearning that I could no longer deny, and so I went. And my life has not been the same since.
Without losing sight of the political and economic struggles that affect the lives of all Cubans, I set out to create images that resonated the beauty and realities of my culture, as well as its many illusions. All of the photographs seen here were made prior to the embargo lift imposed by the Obama administration.
This photo series is a tribute to the city I grew up in. Illuminating many of the spaces, places and people, I aim to weave together a story of memories unfiltered and personal. Street and familial vibes play together in a reality where they intrinsically mesh and have little to do with the stereotypes often associated.
This project is a work in progress and documents a unique voyage through time; capturing moments of truth and transition in a city unlike any other.
“Just Between Us” is a visual narrative exploring modern relationships between men and women, as well as our innate yearnings to engage one another romantically. This work pulls on the threads tying young couples together, exposing many intricacies such as romance, gender roles, lust and intimacy. Photographing heavily in the privacy of bedrooms; a challenge is created to reveal moments and interactions that as a collective we can all relate too, but do not always get to see or even understand. Through the utilization of my own personal experiences and of the individuals around me, images surface portraying elements that are both performative and natural; reflecting moments in which couples are fully engaged and comfortable with themselves and with me. It is an experience unlike any other that requires vulnerability, compassion and trust.
As James Agee described in his introduction to Walker Evan's “Many Are Called,” modes of travel are “a neutral zone in which people are free to consider themselves invisible; time spent commuting is a hiatus from social interaction.”
“Strangers Like Us” concentrates on the hiatus we all endure as individual travelers; visually capturing, freezing, and suspending the invisible. As temporary passengers, we transcend this separation as strangers and become one - undeniably racing together through time and space. We each, almost uncontrollably, gaze inwardly with the capacity to isolate ourselves within our own minds and are linked through solitude. With such a rich history attached to public transportation, and especially that of New York, I find it significant to reflect on and internalize the various components affecting our experiences as passengers. Although the subway and buses may externally appear different from one decade to the next, these vehicles have never stopped carrying the mysteries and complexities we each face every time we step aboard.
Beauty and Fashion
Channeling the same poetic rhythm that drives my approach to photography, this collection is a natural extension of my portraiture; introducing vibrant and inspired aspects of beauty and fashion.