“Habana Libre” is a stunning contemporary exploration of the privileged class in a classless society: a secret life within Cuba. Michael Dweck’s photographs are exhilarating, sensual and provocative, with a sexy and hypnotic visual rhythm. This is a face of Cuba never before photographed, never reported in Western media and never acknowledged openly within Cuba itself. It is a socially connected world of glamorous models and keenly observant artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers captured in an elaborate dance of survival and success. Here too are surprising interviews with sons of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as well as many others who define the creative culture of Cuba and give it texture and substance.
“Habana Libre “is not a media-fabricated Cuban postcard of crumbling mansions or old American cars, but a revealing and contemporary work by a visual artist adept at capturing the quiet gesture, the sensuous eye and the proud and provocative pose of that most romantic of contradictions: Cuba.
The photographs of Michael Dweck (born 1957) were first exhibited at Sotheby’s, New York, in 2003, in the auction house’s first solo exhibition for a living photographer. Dweck’s first major photographic work, “The End: Montauk, N.Y.,” published in 2004, blended documentary and staged photography to produce a compelling portrait of a beach community that exists as much in the realm of memory and desire as in the real world. His acclaimed 2008 volume “Mermaids “explored the female nude refracted in water. Dweck’s work has become part of important international art collections and has been shown in major solo gallery exhibitions around the world.