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Jorge V. Gavilondo

Artist Statement

I have lived in Havana since my Cuban parents decided to return home from Chicago in 1950. In this city I have grown from a boy to a man, and from a man to a father, walking beyond the light and darkness of life and love, all while seeing buildings and classic cars slipping slowly into their state of beauty, in ruins, crying out for repairs and that gallon of paint that it is not always possible to find. I am not burdened by the effects of time. Illusions always strengthen my perception of the beauty found in the flickering contrasts of Havana, the double vision of what can be seen with the camera’s eye, and with the heart’s eye. The first hours of the day in the city have a special meaning for my photography. Havana looks like it is still half asleep, with the light entering little by little at first with a yellow-orange radiance, then the clouds tinting it red, giving life to the buildings and empty streets—at no other moment of the day am I so photographically inspired. It is a moment of special thoughts, of composition, and of creativity in the colors or the blacks and whites, trying to capture images that fly before my eyes, with nothing more than pure reality as a palette for deciding when to release the shutter.

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