Artist’s Statement – CubaStreet

For most of my professional life as a photographer I have been immersed in the impersonal and objective requirements of commercial photography. But because I was trained in the classic genre of photo-journalism with an emphasis on composition and elements within a photograph that evoke feeling and emotion, I found that my commercial work became increasingly less fulfilling.  Recently I began to feel an ever stronger desire to pursue personal projects, ones which would allow me to experiment with the kind of imagery that originally inspired me. And thus, CubaStreet.

My goal with the CubaStreet series was to create photographs that conveyed the emotion, the feeling, and the reality of what the Cuba experience meant to me, a visitor, an outsider. I deliberately chose not to romanticize Cuba with color and selective subject matter that skewed the reality of hardship and struggle that is today’s Cuba. I found that in black and white I could more effectively capture a glimpse of Cuban life and record the strong spirit that defines the Cuban people.

This collection of images was made with compassion and affection for the people and the country, and, as much as a photograph can, they reflect the emotions my visits engendered within me for this lovely island, too long isolated but ever beautiful.

Tony Bonanno
Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
April 8, 2011