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Faded Elegance

Michael Eastman, Portrait, Havana, 2010, digital CPrint, 90” x 72”. © Michael Eastman/Photograph courtesy Barry Friedman Ltd.

Michael Eastman, Portrait, Havana, 2010, digital CPrint, 90” x 72”. © Michael Eastman/Photograph courtesy Barry Friedman Ltd.

Tampa Museum of Art

By Suzanne Cohen

“Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman” gathers together 29 photos taken between 1999 and 2010. Eastman captures Havana’s changing landscape, its amazing architecture and the vestiges of its luxurious interiors, victims of the inexorable passage of time.

The photos exude nostalgia for a prosperous time that will never return, while they move us to reflect on the harsh economic reality confronted by the Cuba of today.

Eastman has dedicated four decades to documenting interiors and façades in cities as diverse as Havana, Paris, Rome and New Orleans, producing a vast repertoire of photographs, usually printed in large format that have as a common denominator a pure visual language, his painterly use of color and his penchant for endowing his scenes with a grandeur and elegance that make them unique.

This artist demonstrates a special knack for creating solid narratives around the concepts of time and place. Eastman rejects the immediacy and economy of digital photographic resources, preferring to capture his photos on film and print them himself, thus more richly exploiting snapshots of a city’s deterioration. Through September 15, 2013.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

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