ENRIQUE DE LA UZ

Cuba Zafra
January 16 - February 22, 2014

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 gave birth to a extraordinary wealth of social-documentary photography. In the early 1970’s, film photographer Enrique de la Uz contributed significantly to the visual articulation of a new social ideal and the figure who was to exemplify this new society: the worker. Through portfolios such as his images of Zafra (Cuba’s sugar cane industry), he ultimately forged a vibrant new iconography in Cuban photographic art that has prevailed to the present day.

Born in Havana in 1944, Enrique de la Uz discovered photography during a two year stay in Moscow, where film and cameras were of bad quality but affordable. He fell in love with the art and returned to Cuba to apprentice with Swiss photographer Luc Chessex. It was in the studio workshop of painter, designer and photographer Raúl Martínez that he learned that photography could be used to give a very personal statement about reality. The ability of the camera to transform an instant of time into an image has always fascinated him.

He has shown his photographs in many group exhibitions in Cuba and abroad, and his work has been included in important anthologies on Cuban and Latin-American photography, including “Canto a la realidad”, “Editorial Lunwerg” (Madrid 1993), “100 años de Fotografía Cubana” (1998), and “Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography after the Revolution” (LACMA 2001).

He has directed about fifteen documentaries in film and video, and published film and photography reviews for the Cuban press. He has also published, “Hemingway in Cuba” with writer Norberto Fuentes, photographed and conceived the book “Fabelo”, about a well known Cuban artist. His last book is “Teatro de los Elementos. En busca de la utopía” published in 2008 by Editorial UNEAC.

Through over thirty visits to Cuba leading photographic cultural tours, curator Charles Anselmo has known de la Uz for many years and worked with him on several United States solo exhibitions.