For me, everything began not with photography, but rather with literature: for years I have written texts – some are still to be found on the Internet. At a certain point in time, however, I came to the idea of illustrating my texts with photographs. However, as I continued, I saw my texts receding and giving way to images, although I still value the word and sometimes combine minuscule text fragments with my pictures.

A photographer is a catalyst. His task is not to show an image but to transmit more than what is seen. The subject shown is merely an envelope, and ideally the spectator should be tempted to open it. Although images do not really stop time, they draw one back into a specific space, era or situation. My story is one of a daily life. While taking pictures, I do not direct; the subject unwinds independent of my influences, something might or might not come out of it, and I might capture it or not. That’s why a good photograph appears as if by fate, just as well as a bad one could.

Cuba has a way of turning its decay into grace and tranquillity. Someone gave me some signs, weathered and partly blurred, but striking enough to be seen. Those signs were not easy to decode, almost as if they feared to lose their mystery.

In Camaguey, I noticed an old man smoking in a doorway of his house and asked him if I could take his portrait. He invited me inside his home, placed himself near an armchair and continued smoking, piercing the space with a look of absence. He did not go for a fresh shirt, did not fix his hair or smile into the lens: he was comfortable with himself as I first saw him, regardless of messy hair and the wrinkles of his naked torso. The old man was not working for the camera: he stayed himself.

“Cuba, 2006” Gallery



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